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Full text of "The investigation of a friendly fire incident during the Persian Gulf War : hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 29, 1995"

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S.  Hrg.  104-268 

THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE 
INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 


/  4.  G  74/9:  S.  HRG.  104-268 

[he  Investigation  of  a  Friendly  Fir... 

tiriARING 

BEFORE  THE 

PERMANENT 
SUBCOMMITTEE  ON  INVESTIGATIONS 

OF  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON 
GOVERNMENTAL  AFFAIRS 
UNITED  STATES  SENATE 

ONE  HUNDRED  FOURTH  CONGRESS 

FIRST  SESSION 


JUNE  29,  1995 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs 


JAN  2  a  1998 

-..  .   ^ 


U.S.    GOVERNMENT  PRINTING  OFFICE 
92-t97CC  WASHINGTON  :  1995 

For  sale  by  the  U.S.  Government  Printing  Office 

Superintendent  of  Documents,  Congressional  Sales  Office,  Washington,  DC  20402 

ISBN  0-16-052096-7 


D 

S.  Hrg.  104-268 

THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE 
INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 


Y  4.  G  74/9:  S.  HRG.  104-268 


The  Investigation  of  a  Friendly  Fir... 

HEARING 

BEFORE  THE 

PERMANENT 

SUBCOMMITTEE  ON  INVESTIGATIONS 

OF  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON 
GOVERNMENTAL  AFFAIRS 
UNITED  STATES  SENATE 

ONE  HUNDRED  FOURTH  CONGRESS 

FIRST  SESSION 


JUNE  29,  1995 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs 

JA»  2  9  193S 

Olio,  .n 


U.S.   GOVERNMENT  PRINTING  OFFICE 
92-^97  CC  WASHINGTON  :  1995 

For  sale  by  the  U.S.  Government  Printing  Office 

Superintendent  of  Documents,  Congressional  Sales  Office,  Washington,  DC  20402 

ISBN  0-16-052096-7 


COMMITTEE  ON  GOVERNMENTAL  AFFAIRS 

WILLIAM  V.  ROTH,  Jr.,  Delaware,  Chairman 

TED  STEVENS,  Alaska  JOHN  GLENN,  Ohio 

WILLIAM  S.  COHEN,  Maine  SAM  NUNN,  Georgia 

FRED  THOMPSON,  Tennessee  CARL  LEVIN,  Michigan 

THAD  COCHRAN,  Mississippi  DAVID  PRYOR,  Arkansas 

CHARLES  E.  GRASSLEY,  Iowa  JOSEPH  I.  LIEBERMAN,  Connecticut 

JOHN  MCCAIN,  Arizona  DANIEL  K.  AKAKA,  Hawaii 

BOB  SMITH,  New  Hampshire  BYRON  L.  DORGAN,  North  Dakota 

Franklin  G.  Polk,  Staff  Director  and  Chief  Counsel 

Leonard  Weiss,  Minority  Staff  Director 

Michal  Sue  Prosser,  Chief  Clerk 


PERMANENT  SUBCOMMITTEE  ON  INVESTIGATIONS 

WILLIAM  V.  ROTH,  Jr.,  Delaware,  Chairman 

TED  STEVENS,  Alaska  SAM  NUNN,  Georgia 

WILLIAM  S.  COHEN,  Maine  JOHN  GLENN,  Ohio 

FRED  THOMPSON,  Tennessee  CARL  LEVIN,  Michigan 

THAD  COCHRAN,  Mississippi  DAVID  PRYOR,  Arkansas 

CHARLES  E.  GRASSLEY,  Iowa  .                         JOSEPH  I.  LIEBERMAN,  Connecticut 

JOHN  McCAIN,  Arizona  DANIEL  K.  AKAKA,  Hawaii 

BOB  SMITH,  New  Hampshire  BYRON  L.  DORGAN,  North  Dakota 

Harold  Damelin,  Chief  Counsel  and  Staff  Director 

Daniel  S.  Gelber,  Chief  Counsel  to  the  Minority 

Carla  J.  Martin,  Chief  Clerk 

(II) 

■ 


CONTENTS 


Opening  statements:  Page 

Senator  Roth  1 

Senator  Thompson  4 

Senator  Grassley  7 

Prepared  statement: 

Senator  Nunn 71 

WITNESSES 

Thursday,  June  29,  1995 

Richard  C.  Stiener,  Director,  Office  of  Special  Investigations,  U.S.  General 

Accounting  Office,  accompanied  by  Barbara  Cart  and  Randy  Stone  9 

Kevin  J.  Wessels  18 

Bo  H.  Friesen  20 

Deborah  J.  Shelton  and  Ronald  Fielder 29 

Lt.  Col.  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.,  U.S.  Army,  accompanied  by  Lt.  Col.  Gerstenlauer, 

Regional  Defense  Counsel,  U.S.  Army  Trial  Defense  Service  37 

Sara  E.  Lister,  Assistant  Secretary,  Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs,  U.S. 
Army,  accompanied  by  General  Ronald  H.  Griffith,  Vice  Chief  of  Staff, 
U.S.  Army;  and  Maj.  Gen.  Michael  Nardotti,  The  Judge  Advocate  General, 
U.S.  Army  57 

Alphabetical  List  of  Witnesses 

Daly,  Lt.  Col.  John  H.  Jr.: 

Testimony  37 

Prepared  statement  82 

Fielder,  Ronald: 

Testimony  29 

Prepared  statement  78 

Friesen,  Bo  H.: 

Testimony  20 

Prepared  statement  76 

Lister,  Sara  E.: 

Testimony  57 

Prepared  statement  83 

Shelton,  Deborah  J.: 

Testimony  29 

Prepared  statement  78 

Stiener,  Richard  C: 

Testimony  9 

Prepared  statement  72 

Wessels,  Kevin  J.: 

Testimony  18 

Prepared  statement  75 

APPENDIX 
Prepared  statements  of  witnesses  in  order  of  appearance  71 

(III) 


IV 

Page 

List  of  Exhibits 

1.  Chronology  of  Events — 1991  chart,  prepared  by  the  Permanent  Sub- 

committee on  Investigations  (PSI)  88 

2.  Movement  of  Troops  Prior  to  Fratricide  chart,  prepared  by  PSI  89 

3.  Positions  when  Fatal  Shots  Fired  chart,  prepared  by  PSI  90 

4.  Recommendation   by   Lieutenant   Colonel   John   H.    Daly,   Jr.,   for   the 

Bronze  Star  Medal  with  Valor  Device  to  Patrick  Joseph  Venetia, 
dated  March  6,  1991  91 

5.  Electronic  Form  638  Recommendation  (including  narrative)  by  Colonel 

Douglas  H.  Starr  for  the  Bronze  Star  Medal  to  Lieutenant  Colonel 
John  H.  Daly,  Jr.,  dated  March  1991  92 

6.  Witness  Statement  by  Major  William  C.  Martin  supporting  the  Bronze 

Star  Medal  Recommendation  for  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly, 

Jr.,  dated  March  6,  1991  94 

7.  Officer  Evaluation  Report  (form  DA  67-8)  for  Lieutenant  Colonel  John 

H.  Daly,  Jr.,  dated  April  25,  1991 96 

8.  Certificate  awarding  the  Bronze  Star  Medal  to  Lieutenant  Colonel  John 

H.  Daly,  dated  May  2,  1991  98 

9.  Sworn  statement  (form  DA  2823)  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly, 

Jr.,  dated  May  3,  1991  99 

10.  Sworn  testimony  (excerpted)  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr. 

from  Army  AR  15-6  investigation,  dated  November  7  and  20,  1991      101 

11.  Sworn  testimony  (excerpted)  of  Lieutenant  General  Ronald  H.  Griffith 

from  Army  AR  15-6  investigation,  dated  January  21,  1992  112 

12.  Sworn  testimony  (excerpted)  of  Colonel  Douglas  H.  Starr  from  Army 

AR  15-6  investigation,  dated  March  5,  1992  114 

13.  Memorandum  of  Admonition  from   General   Edwin   H.   Burba,  Jr.   to 

First  Lieutenant  Kevin  J.  Wessels,  dated  April  14,  1992  117 

14.  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  from. General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Cap- 

tain Bodo  H.  Friesen,  dated  April  14,  1992  118 

15.  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  from  General  Edwin  J.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Lieu- 

tenant Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.,  dated  April  14,  1992  120 

16.  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  from  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Colo- 

nel Douglas  H.  Starr,  Retired,  dated  April  14,  1992  122 

17.  Memorandum    from    Colonel    Douglas    H.    Starr,    Retired,    to    General 

Edwin  H.  Burba,  dated  May  6,  1992,  regarding  his  April  14,  1992 
Memorandum  of  Reprimand 124 

18.  Memorandum  from  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.  to  General 

Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.,  dated  May  26,  1992,  regarding  his  April  14, 
1992  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  128 

19.  Memorandum   from   Colonel    Robert   R.    Ivany   to   General    Edwin   H. 

Burba,   dated   May   27,    1992,   regarding  Lieutenant  Colonel   Daly's 
April  14,  1992  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  132 

20.  Memorandum  from  Lieutenant  General  Gary  E.  Luck  to  General  Edwin 

H.  Burba,  dated  June  4,  1992,  regarding  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's 
April  14,  1992  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  133 

21.  Memorandum  from  Captain  B.  H.  Friesen  to  General  Edwin  H.  Burba, 

Jr.,  dated  June  21,  1992,  regarding  his  April  14,  1992  Memorandum 

of  Reprimand  134 

22.  Memorandum  from  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Commander,  Mili- 

tary District  of  Washington,  dated  July  22,  1992,  regarding  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  Daly's  April  14,  1992  reprimand  139 

23.  Memorandum  from   General  Edwin  H.   Burba,  Jr.   to  Captain  B.   H. 

Friesen,  dated  July  22,  1992,  withdrawing  April  14,  1992  Memoran- 
dum of  Reprimand 140 

24.  Memorandum  from  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Colonel  Douglas 

H.   Starr,   Retired,  dated  July  22,   1992,   regarding  April   14,    1992 
Memorandum  of  Reprimand 141 

25.  Letter  from  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.  to  Deborah  J.  Shelton,  dated 

September  1,  1992  142 

26.  Letter  from  Deborah  J.  Shelton  to  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr.,  dated 

September  14,  1992  144 


V 

Page 

27.  Memorandum  from  Major  General  R.   S.  Siegfried,  Deputy  Inspector 

General,  to  the  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army  for  Manpower  and 
Reserve  Affairs  (attn:  Colonel  Hamilton),  dated  August  4,  1992,  re- 
garding revocation  of  valorous  awards  146 

28.  General  Accounting  Office  (GAO)  Report  to  The  Honorable  Fred  Thomp- 

son, "Operation  Desert  Storm:  Investigation  of  a  U.S.  Army  Fratricide 
Incident,"  dated  April  1995  (GAO/OSI  95-10)  * 

29.  Letter  (with  enclosures)  from  Karl  F.  Schneider,  Legislative  Counsel, 

Department  of  the  Army,  to  Senator  William  V.  Roth,  Jr.,  dated 
June  15,  1995,  enclosing  various  documents  relating  to  awards  re- 
ceived by  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  and  54th  Engineer 
Battalion  * 

30.  Letter  from  F.  Pang,  Office  of  the  Assistant  Secretary  of  Defense,  to 

Richard  C.  Steiner,  Director,  Office  of  Special  Investigations,  GAO, 
dated  June  26,  1995,  regarding  recommendations  made  in  the  April 
1995  GAO  report  160 

31.  Certificate  awarding  the  Soldiers  Medal   to  Sergeant  Douglas  Lance 

Fielder,  dated  June  29,  1995  165 

32.  Permanent  Orders   180-11,  dated  June  29,   1995,  revoking  award  of 

the  Bronze  Star  Medal  with  "V"  device  to  Sergeant  Douglas  L.  Fielder      167 

33.  Permanent  Orders  180-10,  dated  June  29,  1995,  awarding  a  Soldiers 

Medal  (Posthumous)  for  heroism  to  Sergeant  Douglas  L.  Fielder  168 

34.  Permanent  Orders  181—4,  dated  June  30,  1995,  revoking  award  of  the 

Bronze  Star  Medal  to  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr  169 

35.  Letter  from  Senator  William  V.  Roth,  Jr.  and  Senator  Fred  Thompson 

to  the  Honorable  Sara  E.   Lister,  Assistant  Secretary,  Department 

of  the  Army,  dated  July  11,  1995  170 

36.  Permanent  Orders  194-1,  dated  July  13,  1995,  revoking  award  of  the 

Bronze  Star  Medal  with  "V"  device  to  Colonel  Douglas  H.  Starr  172 

37.  Letter  from  Sara  E.   Lister,  Assistant  Secretary,   Department  of  the 

Army,  to  Kevin  J.  Wessels,  dated  July  13,  1995  173 

38.  Letter  (without  enclosures)  from  Sara  E.  Lister,  Assistant  Secretary, 

Department  of  the  Army,  to  Senator  William  V.  Roth,  Jr.,  dated 

July  24,  1995  174 

39.  Letter  from  Lieutenant  Colonel  James  P.  Gerstenlauer,  Regional  De- 

fense Counsel,  to  Harold  Damelin,  Permanent  Subcommittee  on  In- 
vestigations, dated  August  10,  1995  176 

40.  Letter  from   Richard  C.   Stiener,   GAO,  to  Senator  William  V.   Roth, 

Jr.,  dated  August  18,  1995  198 

41.  Letter  from  Sara  E.   Lister,  Assistant  Secretary,  Department  of  the 

Army,to  Senator  William  V.  Roth,  Jr.,  dated  August  28,  1995  199 

42.  Letter  from  Sara  E.   Lister,  Assistant  Secretary,  Department  of  the 

Army,  to  Senator  Fred  Thompson,  dated  August  28,  1995   200 

43.  Letter  (without  enclosure)  from  Senator  Fred  Thompson  to  Togo  D. 

West,  Jr.,  Secretary,  Department  of  the  Army,  dated  September  20, 
1995  201 


*  Retained  in  the  files  of  the  Subcommittee. 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE 
INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 


THURSDAY,  JUNE  29,  1995 

U.S.  Senate, 
Permanent  Subcommittee  on  Investigations, 
of  the  Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs, 

Washington,  DC. 

The  Subcommittee  met,  pursuant  to  notice,  at  10:08  a.m.,  in 
room  342,  Dirksen  Senate  Office  Building,  Hon.  William  V.  Roth, 
Jr.,  Chairman  of  the  Subcommittee,  presiding. 

Present:  Senators  Roth,  Thompson,  and  Grassley. 

Staff  Present:  Harold  Damelin,  Chief  Counsel  and  Staff  Director, 
Eric  Thorson,  Chief  Investigator,  Carla  J.  Martin,  Chief  Clerk,  Sal- 
lie  B.  Cribbs,  Executive  Assistant,  Christopher  Greer,  Investigator, 
Jack  Cobb,  Counsel,  Michael  Bopp,  Counsel,  Kathryn  O'Connor, 
Receptionist,  Suzanne  Horner,  Librarian,  Daniel  S.  Gelber,  Chief 
Counsel  to  the  Minority,  John  Sopko,  Deputy  Chief  Counsel  to  the 
Minority,  Mary  Robertson,  Assistant  Chief  Clerk  to  the  Minority, 
Alan  Edelman,  Minority  Counsel,  Mark  Webster,  Minority  Inves- 
tigator, Scott  Newton,  Minority  Investigator,  Dale  Cabiness  (Sen- 
ator Stevens),  Rick  Valentine  (Senator  Smith),  Charlie  Murphy 
(Senator  Grassley),  Claudia  McMurray  (Senator  Thompson),  Jack 
Kennedy  (Senator  McCain),  Janna  Eaton  (Senator  Thompson), 
Cathy  O'Brien  (Senator  Nunn),  Julie  Mickle  (Senator  Nunn),  Han- 
nah Sistone  (Senator  Thompson),  Bonnie  Samsonetti  (Senator 
Thompson),  and  Brian  Dettelbach  (Senator  Glenn). 


OPENING  STATEMENT  OF  CHAIRMAN  ROTH 

Chairman  ROTH.  The  Subcommittee  will  please  come  to  order. 

This  morning,  the  Subcommittee  will  review  a  painful  chapter  in 
what  was  generally  a  proud  moment  in  our  Nation's  history,  Oper- 
ation Desert  Storm.  The  war  in  the  Persian  Gulf  is  justifiably  re- 
membered primarily  for  its  successes.  But  no  war  is  without  its 
tragedies,  and,  sadly,  today  we  are  here  to  examine  one  such  trag- 
edy— an  unfortunate  event  compounded  by  a  series  of  almost  in- 
comprehensible missteps  by  the  Army. 

In  the  early  morning  hours  of  February  27,  1991,  in  the  Iraqi 
desert,  a  group  of  five  American  soldiers,  engineers — from  the  1st 
Armored  Division's  54th  Engineering  Battalion — were  waiting  to  be 
rescued  after  one  of  their  vehicles  had  broken  down.  They  were 
pulled  off  to  the  side  of  what  was  called  the  "log  line"  or  logistics 
line.  U.S.  forces  were  known  to  be  in  that  area.  In  fact,  American 

(l) 


trucks  had  been  passing  within  50  feet  of  these  soldiers  most  of  the 
night. 

Yet,  at  approximately  3  a.m.  that  morning,  rather  than  welcom- 
ing a  rescue  party,  these  American  soldiers  were  fired  upon  by  an- 
other group  of  American  soldiers  from  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment,  who  were  in  Abrams  battle  tanks  and  Bradley  fighting 
vehicles. 

In  the  initial  round  of  fire,  one  soldier  was  wounded  in  the  leg. 
In  a  subsequent  volley  of  fire,  another  soldier,  Sergeant  Lance 
Fielder,  was  shot  in  the  chest  and  killed — a  victim  of  what  is  iron- 
ically called  "friendly  fire."  Both  Sergeant  Fielder  and  his  parents 
have  made  the  greatest  sacrifice  that  our  military  forces  can  ask 
of  a  soldier  and  a  soldier's  family. 

Within  48  hours,  the  Army  informed  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents 
that  their  son  had  been  killed.  But  the  Army  told  his  parents  that 
Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed  in  a  firefight  with  Iraqi  soldiers.  It  was 
not  until  2  months  later  that  his  parents  found  out  the  truth  about 
how  their  son  had  died.  And  the  truth  did  not  then  come  through 
official  Army  channels.  Rather,  in  May  of  1992,  two  of  Sergeant 
Fielder's  friends  called  the  family  to  tell  them  the  truth,  that  Ser- 
geant Lance  Fielder  had  been  killed  by  American  forces  who  had 
mistaken  Sergeant  Fielder's  small  unit  to  be  the  enemy. 

It  took  the  Army  6  months  to  officially  notify  Sergeant  Fielder's 
parents  of  the  true  cause  of  their  son's  death.  However,  it  took  the 
Army  only  2  months  to  award  Bronze  Stars  with  "V's  to  signify 
valor  to  members  of  the  unit  responsible  for  Sergeant  Fielder's 
death.  In  fact,  the  Army  awarded  the  medals  on  May  2,  1991,  the 
same  day — the  same  day — Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  were  finding 
out  from  their  son's  friends  what  they  should  have  been  told  by  the 
Army:  that  their  son's  death  was  due  to  friendly  fire. 

The  Army  conducted  several  investigations  of  this  tragic  incident. 
The  first  two  of  these  investigations  found  no  wrongdoing  on  any- 
one's part.  However,  a  third  review  found  that  three  officers  in  the 
unit  responsible  for  Sergeant  Fielder's  death  had  acted  improperly. 
While  the  Army  issued  letters  of  reprimand  to  these  three  officers, 
two  were  not  included  in  these  officers'  permanent  personnel 
records,  and  the  other  letter  was  withdrawn.  In  fact,  several  sol- 
diers involved  were  promoted  and  decorated  for  this  incident.  In  re- 
ceiving these  medals,  these  soldiers  were  commended  for  "excep- 
tionally meritorious  heroism  in  support  of  actions  against  a  hostile 
force." 

The  problem  is,  there  was  no  hostile  force.  In  fact,  the  evidence 
shows  that  the  engineers  whose  vehicle  had  broken  down  never  so 
much  as  fired  a  shot.  Their  commanding  officer,  Lieutenant  Kevin 
Wessels,  realizing  all  of  his  men  could  soon  be  killed,  stood  up  with 
his  hands  raised  and  walked  into  the  line  of  fire  until  he  was  fi- 
nally recognized  as  an  American.  The  Army  did  not  award  Lieuten- 
ant Wessels  the  Bronze  Star  for  his  actions  that  night.  Rather,  the 
Army  issued  him  a  letter  of  admonishment,  stating  that  he  may 
have  "indirectly  contributed  to  this  tragic  incident."  This  letter  is 
also  part  of  this  tragedy,  as  an  admonishment  certainly  does  not 
appear  to  be  justified  by  the  evidence  provided  to  us  by  the  Army. 

Our  role  here  today  is  to  determine  the  truth.  Above  all  else,  this 
country  owes  the  family  of  Sergeant  Fielder,  and  all  families  who 


suffer  the  loss  of  a  son  or  daughter  in  military  service,  the  absolute 
truth.  This  is  the  very  bedrock  of  integrity  within  our  military  sys- 
tem. 

We  are  here  because  serious  questions  exist  concerning  the  ade- 
quacy of  the  Army's  investigation  of  this  matter.  We  question:  why 
it  took  the  Army  6  months  to  tell  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  the 
true  story  of  how  their  son  died;  why,  within  4  days  of  this  tragic 
incident,  recommendations  were  forthcoming  for  bravery  and  med- 
als of  valor;  why  some  of  those  involved  were  promoted,  despite  evi- 
dence of  wrongdoing;  and  why  was  it  that,  only  after  significant 
Congressional  interest,  the  medals  were  finally  withdrawn. 

We  are  also  here  to  establish  accountability.  Accountability  is  the 
basis  for  our  military  command  and  control  structure.  The  case  we 
are  dealing  with  today  involves  the  ultimate  in  accountability — ac- 
countability for  the  lives  of  our  Nation's  military  men  and  women 
who  we  dispatch  to  the  far  corners  of  the  world  to  defend  our  Na- 
tion and  what  we  stand  for. 

I  want  to  thank  the  family  of  Sergeant  Fielder  for  their  persist- 
ence and  for  their  patience.  I  know  that  it  has  been  a  long,  hard 
road  to  this  hearing. 

[The  prepared  statement  of  Senator  Roth  follows:] 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  WILLIAM  V.  ROTH 

The  Subcommittee  will  come  to  order.  This  morning,  the  Subcommittee  will  re- 
view a  painful  chapter  in  what  was  generally  a  proud  moment  in  our  nation's  his- 
tory—Operation Desert  Storm.  The  war  in  the  Persian  Gulf  is  justifiably  remem- 
bered primarily  for  its  successes.  But  no  war  is  without  its  tragedies.  Sadly,  today 
we  are  here  to  examine  one  such  tragedy — an  unfortunate  incident  compounded  by 
a  series  of  almost  incomprehensible  missteps  by  the  Army. 

In  the  early  morning  hours  of  February  27,  1991,  in  the  Iraqi  desert,  a  group  of 
five  American  soldiers — engineers  from  the  First  Armored  Division's  54th  Engineer- 
ing Battalion — were  waiting  to  be  rescued  after  one  of  their  vehicles  had  broken 
down.  They  were  pulled  off  to  the  side  of  what  was  called  the  "log  line"  or  logistics 
line.  U.S.  forces  were  known  to  be  in  that  area.  In  fact,  American  trucks  had  been 
passing  within  50  feet  of  these  soldiers  most  of  the  night. 

Yet,  at  approximately  three  o'clock  that  morning,  rather  than  welcoming  a  rescue 
party,  these  American  soldiers  were  fired  upon  by  another  group  of  American  sol- 
diers from  the  Third  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  who  were  in  Abram  Battle  Tanks 
and  Bradley  Fighting  Vehicles. 

In  the  initial  round  of  fire,  one  soldier  was  wounded  in  the  leg.  In  a  subsequent 
volley  of  fire,  another  soldier,  Sergeant  Lance  Fielder,  was  shot  in  the  chest  and 
killed — the  victim  of  what  is  ironically  termed,  "friendly  fire."  Both  Sergeant  Field- 
er, and  his  parents,  have  made  the  greatest  sacrifice  that  our  military  forces  can 
ask  of  a  soldier  and  a  soldier's  family. 

Within  48  hours,  the  Army  informed  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  that  their  son  had 
been  killed.  But  the  Army  told  his  parents  that  Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed  in  a 
fire  fight  with  Iraqi  soldiers.  It  was  not  until  two  months  later  that  his  parents 
found  out  the  truth  about  how  their  son  had  died.  And  the  truth  did  not  then  come 
through  official  Army  channels. 

Rather,  in  May  of  1991,  two  of  Sergeant  Fielder's  friends  called  the  family  to  tell 
them  the  truth — that  Sergeant  Lance  Fielder  had  been  killed  by  American  forces, 
who  had  mistaken  Sergeant  Fielder's  small  unit  to  be  the  enemy. 

It  took  the  Army  six  months  to  officially  notify  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  of  the 
true  cause  of  their  son's  death.  However,  it  took  the  Army  only  two  months  to  award 
Bronze  Stars  with  "Vs"  to  signify  valor  to  members  of  the  unit  responsible  for  Ser- 
geant Fielder's  death.  In  fact,  the  Army  awarded  the  medals  on  May  2,  1991,  the 
same  day  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  were  finding  out  from  their  son's  friends  what 
they  should  have  been  told  by  the  Army — that  their  son's  death  was  due  to  "friendly 
fire." 

The  Army  conducted  several  investigations  of  this  tragic  incident.  The  first  two 
of  these  investigations  found  no  wrongdoing  on  anyone's  part.  However,  a  third  re- 


view  found  that  three  officers  in  the  unit  responsible  for  Sergeant  Fielder's  death 
had  acted  improperly.  While  the  Army  issued  letters  of  reprimand  to  these  three 
officers,  two  were  not  included  in  these  officers'  permanent  personnel  records  and 
the  other  letter  was  withdrawn.  In  fact,  several  soldiers  involved  were  promoted  and 
decorated  for  this  incident.  In  receiving  their  medals,  these  soldiers  were  com- 
mended for  "exceptionally  meritorious  heroism  in  support  of  actions  against  a  hos- 
tile force." 

The  problem  is  there  was  no  hostile  force.  In  fact  the  evidence  shows  that  the  en- 
gineers, whose  vehicle  had  broken  down,  never  so  much  as  fired  a  shot.  Their  com- 
manding officer,  Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels,  realizing  all  of  his  men  could  soon  be 
killed,  stood  up  with  his  hands  raised,  and  walked  into  the  line  of  fire  until  he  was 
finally  recognized  as  an  American.  The  Army  did  not  award  Lieutenant  Wessels  the 
Bronze  Star  for  his  actions  that  night.  Rather,  the  Army  issued  him  a  letter  of  ad- 
monishment, stating  that  he  may  have  "indirectly  contributed  to  this  tragic  inci- 
dent." That  letter  is  also  part  of  this  tragedy,  as  an  admonishment  certainly  does 
not  appear  to  be  justified  by  the  evidence  provided  to  us  by  the  Army. 

Our  role  here  today  is  to  determine  the  truth.  Above  all  else,  this  country  owes 
the  family  of  Sergeant  Fielder,  and  all  families  who  suffer  the  loss  of  a  son  or 
daughter  in  military  service,  the  absolute  truth.  This  is  the  very  bedrock  of  integrity 
within  our  military  system. 

We  are  here  because  serious  questions  exist  concerning  the  adequacy  of  the 
Army's  investigation  of  this  matter.  We  question: 

•  why,  within  four  days  of  this  tragic  incident,  recommendations  were  forthcom- 
ing for  bravery  and  medals  of  valor; 

•  why  it  took  the  Army  six  months  to  tell  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  the  true 
story  of  how  their  son  died; 

•  why  some  of  those  involved  were  promoted,  despite  evidence  of  wrongdoing; 
and 

•  why  was  it  that,  only  after  significant  Congressional  interest,  the  medals 
were  finally  withdrawn. 

We  are  also  here  to  establish  accountability.  Accountability  is  the  basis  for  our 
military's  command  and  control  structure.  The  case  we  are  dealing  with  today  in- 
volves the  ultimate  in  accountability — accountability  for  the  lives  of  our  nation's 
military  men  and  women  who  we  dispatch  to  the  far  corners  of  the  world  to  defend 
our  nation  and  what  we  stand  for. 

I  want  to  thank  the  family  of  Sergeant  Fielder  for  their  persistence,  and  their  pa- 
tience. I  know  that  it  has  been  a  long,  hard  road  to  this  hearing. 

I  now  turn  over  the  gavel  to  Senator  Fred  Thompson.  Fred  has  been  pursuing  this 
matter  diligently  for  months,  and  has  provided  the  force  and  motivation  behind  the 
General  Accounting  Office's  excellent  investigative  report. 

Because  of  Senator  Thompson's  hard  work  and  great  concern  about  this  issue,  and 
because  Sergeant  Fielder  was  a  native  of  Tennessee,  I  have  asked  Senator  Thomp- 
son to  chair  today's  hearing.  I  want  to  thank  Senator  Thompson  for  his  leadership 
in  bringing  this  matter  to  the  attention  of  the  Senate  and  of  the  American  people. 

Senator  ROTH.  I  shall  now  turn  over  the  gavel  to  Senator  Fred 
Thompson.  Fred  has  been  pursuing  this  matter  diligently  for 
months  and  has  provided  the  force  and  motivation  behind  the  Gen- 
eral Accounting  Office's  excellent  investigative  report. 

Because  of  Senator  Thompson's  hard  work  and  great  concern 
about  this  issue,  and  because  Sergeant  Fielder  was  a  native  of  Ten- 
nessee, I  have  asked  Senator  Thompson  to  chair  today's  hearing. 
I  want  to  thank  Senator  Thompson  for  his  leadership  in  bringing 
this  matter  to  the  attention  of  the  Senate  and  of  the  American  peo- 
ple. Fred. 

OPENING  STATEMENT  OF  SENATOR  THOMPSON 

Senator  THOMPSON  [presiding] .  Thank  you  very  much,  Chairman 
Roth,  for  offering  me  the  opportunity  to  preside  over  this  important 
hearing.  I  also  want  to  thank  you  for  acceding  to  my  request  and 
authorizing  the  Subcommittee  to  conduct  an  investigation  into  this 
tragic  incident,  the  so-called  friendly  fire  case  that  happened  in  the 
closing  days  of  the  Persian  Gulf  War. 


Today,  we  will  examine  the  circumstances  surrounding  the  death 
of  a  fine  soldier  and  a  young  Tennessean,  Sergeant  Lance  Fielder. 
We  will  hear  testimony  concerning  both  the  circumstances  under 
which  Sergeant  Fielder  died  and  what  happened  or  did  not  happen 
in  the  aftermath  of  his  death. 

This  Subcommittee  does  not  and  should  not  normally  look  into 
the  operations  of  the  military  during  wartime.  We  do  not  and 
should  not  regularly  assume  the  role  of  Monday  morning  quarter- 
back, to  second-guess  the  decisions  made  by  our  Nation's  military 
in  the  heat  of  combat. 

Having  said  that,  though,  the  facts  as  we  understand  them  in 
this  case  so  far  cry  out  for  us  to  make  an  inquiry  into  this  case. 
In  this  Subcommittee's  investigation,  we  have  learned  not  just  that 
mistakes  occurred  to  bring  about  Sergeant  Fielder's  death,  mis- 
takes that  appear  to  have  been  clearly  avoidable,  we  have  also 
learned  that  the  tragedy  was  compounded  when  the  Army  failed  to 
investigate  the  incident  properly,  initially  notified  the  family  that 
their  son  had  been  killed  by  Iraqis,  and  awarded  medals  to  those 
responsible  for  the  accident. 

The  first  thing  we  have  to  ask  ourselves  is  what  we  hope  this 
hearing  will  accomplish.  My  focus  today,  as  it  has  been  since  I  first 
became  aware  of  this  case,  is  on  two  questions.  First  and  foremost, 
what  are  the  true  facts  as  to  how  Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed  and 
what  happened  afterwards?  And  secondly,  what  can  we  learn  from 
what  happened  to  prevent  situations  like  this  from  occurring  in  the 
future? 

There  are  a  number  of  reasons  why  this  search  for  the  truth  is 
important.  We  cannot  restore  a  son  in  the  prime  of  his  life  to  Ser- 
geant Fielder's  parents.  However,  we  owe  his  mother  and  his  father 
and  the  rest  of  his  family  an  honest  and  factual,  correct  account 
of  how  he  lost  his  life  in  the  service  of  his  country. 

Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  have  spent  over  4  years  pursuing  the 
truth  and  are  still  waiting  to  learn  exactly  what  led  to  their  son's 
death  and  why  it  took  so  long  for  them  to  hear  the  words  "friendly 
fire",  and  why  those  who  participated  in  the  incident  were  awarded 
with  medals  for  valor. 

We  must  also  get  to  the  bottom  of  this  incident  and  its  aftermath 
to  assure  that  both  the  appropriate  individuals  and  institutions  are 
held  accountable  for  what  occurred.  If  the  Army  does  not  face  the 
facts  of  this  situation  squarely  and  take  responsibility,  then  it  will 
lose  the  confidence  of  all  Americans. 

If  this  hearing  results  in  some  changes  in  Army  procedures  for 
investigating  those  incidents  that  can  bring  the  truth  to  the  surface 
rapidly,  this  investigation  and  this  hearing  will  have  been  a  suc- 
cess. Moreover,  the  confidence  that  Americans,  including  other  par- 
ents who  send  their  sons  and  daughters  to  future  combat  posts, 
have  in  our  Army  will  have  been  vindicated.  In  addition,  it  is  my 
hope  that  we  can  preserve  the  importance  and  value  of  the  medals 
rightfully  earned  by  so  many  brave  soldiers  by  making  sure  that 
all  medals  are  supported  by  true  statements  and  actually  based  on 
acts  of  merit  and  valor. 

This  hearing  is  not  an  effort  by  Congress  to  criticize  the  Army 
in  an  unfair  way.  Let  me  make  clear  to  everyone  who  is  participat- 
ing in  this  hearing  room  or  may  be  watching  it  that  my  purpose 


is  just  the  opposite.  I  hope  that  this  investigation  will  result  in  a 
stronger  United  States  Army. 

I  think  that  the  men  in  Sergeant  Fielder's  unit  who  had  the  cour- 
age to  go  to  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  with  the  truth,  and,  indeed, 
every  soldier  who  has  earned  the  Bronze  Star,  would  share  my 
hope  for  this  investigation  and  today's  hearing. 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  SENATOR  FRED  THOMPSON 

Thank  you,  Chairman  Roth,  for  offering  me  the  opportunity  to  preside  over  this 
important  hearing.  I  also  want  to  thank  you  for  authorizing  this  subcommittee  to 
conduct  at  my  request  an  investigation  into  this  tragic  incident  of  so-called  "friendly 
fire"  in  the  closing  days  of  the  Persian  Gulf  War. 

Today,  we  will  examine  the  circumstances  surrounding  the  death  of  a  fine  soldier 
and  young  Tennessean,  Sergeant  Lance  Fielder.  We  will  hear  testimony  concerning 
both  the  circumstances  under  which  Sergeant  Fielder  died,  and  what  happened — 
or  did  not  happen — in  the  aftermath  of  his  death. 

This  Subcommittee  does  not — and  should  not — normally  look  into  the  operations 
of  the  military  during  wartime.  We  do  not — and  should  not — regularly  assume  the 
role  of  "Monday  Morning  Quarterback"  to  second  guess  the  decisions  made  by  our 
nation's  military  in  the  heat  of  combat. 

Having  said  that,  the  facts  as  we  understand  them  so  far  cry  out  for  us  to  make 
an  inquiry  into  this  case.  From  this  investigation,  we  have  learned  not  just  that 
mistakes  occurred  to  bring  about  Sergeant  Fielder's  death — mistakes  that  appear  to 
have  been  clearly  avoidable.  We  also  have  learned  that  the  tragedy  was  compounded 
by  the  failure  to  investigate  the  incident  properly,  by  initially  notifying  the  family 
that  their  son  had  been  killed  by  Iraqis,  and  by  awarding  medals  to  those  respon- 
sible for  the  accident. 

The  first  thing  we  have  to  ask  ourselves  is  what  we  hope  this  hearing  will  accom- 
plish. My  focus  today,  as  it  has  been  since  I  first  became  aware  of  the  Fielder  case, 
is  on  two  questions: 

First,  and  foremost,  what  are  the  true  facts  of  how  Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed 
and  what  followed  afterwards?  and, 

Second,  what  can  we  learn  from  what  happened  to  prevent  situations  like  this 
from  occurring  in  the  future? 

There  are  a  number  of  reasons  why  this  search  for  the  truth  is  important.  We 
cannot  restore  a  son  in  the  prime  of  his  life  to  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents.  However, 
we  owe  his  mother,  father,  and  the  rest  of  his  family  an  honest  and  factually  correct 
account  of  how  he  lost  his  life  in  the  service  of  his  country. 

Sergeant  Fielder's  parents  have  spent  over  four  years  pursuing  the  truth,  and  are 
still  waiting  to  learn  exactly  what  led  to  their  son's  death,  why  it  took  so  long  for 
them  to  hear  the  words  "friendly  fire,"  and  why  those  who  participated  in  the  inci- 
dent were  awarded  with  medals  for  valor. 

We  must  also  get  to  the  bottom  of  this  incident  and  its  aftermath  to  assure  that 
someone  is  held  accountable  for  what  occurred.  If  the  Army  does  not  face  the  facts 
of  this  situation  squarely  and  take  responsibility,  then  it  will  lose  the  confidence  of 
all  Americans. 

If  this  hearing  results  in  some  change  in  Army  procedures  for  investigating  these 
incidents  that  can  bring  the  truth  to  the  surface  rapidly,  this  hearing  will  have  been 
a  success.  Moreover,  the  confidence  that  Americans — including  other  parents  who 
send  their  sons  and  daughters  to  future  combat  posts — have  in  our  Army  will  have 
been  vindicated. 

In  addition,  it  is  my  hope  that  we  can  preserve  the  importance  and  value  of  the 
medals  rightfully  earned  by  so  many  brave  soldiers  by  making  sure  that  all  medals 
are  supported  by  true  statements  and  based  on  acts  of  merit  and  valor. 

This  hearing  is  not  an  effort  by  Congress  to  criticize  the  Army  in  an  unfair  way. 
Let  me  make  clear  to  everyone  who  is  participating  in  this  hearing — or  who  may 
be  watching  it — that  my  purpose  is  just  the  opposite.  I  hope  that  this  investigation 
will  result  in  a  stronger  United  States  Army. 

I  think  that  the  men  in  Sergeant  Fielder's  unit  who  had  the  courage  to  go  to 
Fielder's  parents  with  the  truth,  and  indeed,  every  soldier  who  has  earned  the 
Bronze  Star,  would  share  my  hope  for  this  investigation  and  today's  hearing. 

Senator  Thompson.  Senator  Grassley? 


OPENING  STATEMENT  OF  SENATOR  GRASSLEY 

Senator  GRASSLEY.  On  most  everything  that  I  work  on  in  the  De- 
fense Department,  I  find  that  there  is  a  great  deal  of  peer  pressure 
to  go  along  to  get  along,  and  I  think  this  is  one  of  those  examples 
that  you  can  see,  that  nobody  wants  to  rock  the  boat.  If  we  are 
going  to  get  answers  to  questions,  you  cannot  be  afraid  to  rock  the 
boat,  and  I  thank  Senator  Thompson  and  Senator  Roth  for  their 
leadership  in  this  area.  I  think  that  they  and  their  staffs  have  done 
an  outstanding  job. 

We  have  a  terrible  accident  that  has  to  be  put  under  the  micro- 
scope, an  accident  where  American  soldiers  accidentally  killed  and 
wounded  other  American  soldiers.  I  think  you,  Mr.  Chairman,  have 
laid  out  for  us  under  the  microscope  a  slide  for  all  of  us  to  see.  Now 
we  need  to  try  to  understand  what  all  this  means. 

The  work  done  by  these  Senators  and  their  staffs  are  helping  to 
clear  away  the  fog,  and  I  do  not  think  we  see  a  very  pretty  picture. 
A  penetrating  analysis  has  exposed  the  Army's  inner  soul  to  exam- 
ination. I  am  not  happy  with  what  I  see  in  this  case.  The  Army's 
conscience  seems  to  be  numb,  like  it  took  a  massive  dose  of  Novo- 
caine.  The  Army's  leadership  seems  unable  to  distinguish  between 
right  and  wrong,  and  leadership  that  cannot  distinguish  between 
right  and  wrong  lacks  integrity.  To  me,  this  appears  to  be  a  case 
of  organized  lying,  lying  by  the  Army.  Others  may  see  it  dif- 
ferently, but  this  is  how  I  see  it. 

There  is  no  disagreement  about  what  happened  in  the  Iraqi 
desert  during  that  early  morning  hour  described  by  Senator  Roth. 
Accidents  on  battlefields  are  unfortunate,  but  they  do  happen.  The 
risk  is  understood  and  the  risk  is  accepted.  It  is  what  happened 
after  the  accident  that  is  dirty  and  corrupt.  I  see  a  string  of  lies. 

First,  I  see  the  Army  lying  to  a  dead  soldier's  family.  The  Army 
told  the  parents  that  their  son  was  killed  in  a  firefight  with  Iraqi 
soldiers  when  the  Army  knew  full  well  that  he  was  killed  by  Amer- 
ican soldiers. 

Next,  I  see  Army  officers  lying  to  each  other  and  their  superiors 
about  heroic  deeds,  which  were  never  done,  in  the  face  of  hostile 
force,  which  did  not  exist. 

Third,  I  see  reverse  accountability,  and  reverse  accountability  is 
where  the  culprits  get  rewards  and  promotions  and  the  heroes  get 
punished.  The  Army  punished  the  one  person  most  responsible  for 
saving  the  lives  and  bringing  the  accidental  gunfire  to  a  halt.  This 
person  is  Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels.  What  he  did  was  done  at 
great  personal  risk  to  himself.  He  deserves  a  medal  for  heroism. 
His  punishment  is  fraudulent. 

More  senior  American  officers  tried  to  evade  responsibility  by 
blaming  Wessels.  It  is  the  same  old  story  you  hear  so  often.  The 
good  guys  get  hammered;  the  culprits  get  promoted.  Too  often,  that 
is  the  way  the  Pentagon  does  things,  because  it  is  easier  to  go 
along  to  get  along. 

The  two  people  most  responsible  for  the  accidents  are  Colonel 
Douglas  Starr  and  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.  Starr  was 
promoted  to  the  rank  of  Brigadier  General  and  Daly's  promotion  to 
Colonel  is  currently  pending. 

Next,  we  have  Army  investigations  that  failed  to  uncover  the 
truth. 


8 

Mr.  Chairman,  I  know  that  these  are  harsh  words.  These  things 
are  very  difficult  to  say,  but  that  is  what  the  evidence  shows,  and 
what  the  evidence  shows  is  a  disgrace.  The  military  has  a  way  of 
turning  the  code  of  ethics  upside  down,  and  this  accident  was  no 
isolated  case.  It  is  part  of  a  destructive  pattern  that  I  see  every 
time  we  probe  deeply  into  military  disasters. 

The  accident  involving  the  U.S.  Navy  Aegis  crusier,  the  U.S.S. 
Vincennes  is  similar  to  this  incident.  The  Vincennes  accidentally 
shot  down  an  Iranian  airliner,  killing  290  people.  The  ship  thought 
that  it  was  firing  on  hostile  Iranian  F- 14  jets.  Who  was  held  ac- 
countable for  this  tragedy?  No  one. 

Many  of  the  people  involved  were  rewarded.  The  ship's  captain 
and  a  number  of  officers  in  the  Combat  Information  Center  where 
the  decision  to  fire  was  set  up  received  medals  and  promotions.  The 
only  one  to  pay  the  price  for  this  colossal  error  may  be  those  who 
went  down  with  Pan  Am  103,  because  there  is  evidence  that  the 
Iranians  were  going  to  avenge  the  downing  of  their  airliner 
through  that  act. 

More  recently,  we  had  the  tragic  accident  where  two  U.S.  F-15 
fighters  shot  down  two  U.S.  Army  Blackhawk  helicopters  over 
Northern  Iraq.  They  mistook  the  Blackhawks  for  Iraqi  Hind  heli- 
copters— even  though  they  made  visual  identification.  Twenty-six 
people  died.  No  one  is  accountable,  no  one  is  responsible. 

So,  Mr.  Chairman,  the  military  seems  unable  to  deal  with  these 
accidents  in  an  honest  and  a  forthright  manner,  and  I  am  so  afraid 
that  this  kind  of  dishonest  behavior  will  eventually  destroy  the 
Army,  as  you  fear,  Senator  Thompson.  Honesty  is  a  cornerstone  of 
leadership.  That  is  what  the  Army's  own  leadership  manual  says. 
That  is  not  what  Chuck  Grassley  says. 

The  Army  cannot  function  effectively  without  top-notch  leader- 
ship. The  Army  will  need  first-rate  leadership  to  win  a  large-scale 
war  in  the  future,  where  our  will  and  our  power  are  really  put  to 
the  supreme  test,  but  Army  leaders  who  set  a  bad  example,  like  in 
the  case  before  the  Subcommittee  today,  will  have  no  followers 
when  this  type  of  thing  goes  on  and  the  going  really  gets  tough. 

Dishonest  behavior  like  that  undermines  trust  among  the  officers 
and  between  the  officers  and  the  enlisted  men.  It  will  send  a  ter- 
rible signal  to  the  rest  of  the  Army.  It  undermines  discipline  and 
morale  throughout  the  Army. 

This  Committee,  Mr.  Chairman,  must  do  everything  within  its 
power  to  undo  what  has  been  done  as  a  result  of  the  accident.  We 
need  honest  and  just  accountability.  We  need  to  turn  things  right- 
side  up.  We  need  to  do  everything  in  our  power  to  block  the  pend- 
ing promotion  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly. 

We  need  to  do  everything  in  our  power  to  make  sure  that  First 
Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels  is  properly  rewarded  for  his  heroic  ac- 
tion on  February  27,  1991.  Arid,  we  should  do  everything  in  our 
power  to  make  sure  that  the  Army  removes  the  letter  of  admonish- 
ment placed  in  Lieutenant  Wessels'  personnel  file. 

I  would  like  to  work  with  you,  Senator  Thompson,  and  Chairman 
Roth  to  make  sure  that  these  things  happen. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you  very  much,  Senator  Grassley. 

Our  first  witness  this  morning  will  be  Richard  C.  Stiener.  Mr. 
Stiener  is  the  Director  of  the  Office  of  Special  Investigations  for  the 


General  Accounting  Office.  Mr.  Stiener  will  present  the  results  of 
the  GAO's  investigation  of  this  matter. 

Mr.  Stiener,  we  appreciate  your  being  here  this  morning.  As  you 
know,  we  swear  in  all  witnesses  who  appear  before  this  Sub- 
committee and  I  will  now  ask  you  to  rise  and  raise  your  right  hand. 

Do  you  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  before  this  Sub- 
committee will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the 
truth,  so  help  you,  God? 

Mr.  Stiener.  I  do. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you.  Would  you  identify  for  the  record 
the  people  who  are  accompanying  you,  Mr.  Stiener? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Yes,  sir.  I  have  with  me  today  Assistant  Director 
Barbara  Cart,  who  is  in  charge  of  the  unit  responsible  for  this  in- 
vestigation. Also  with  me  is  Special  Agent  Randy  Stone,  who  was 
the  lead  investigator  for  our  effort. 

Senator  Thompson.  We  are  pleased  to  have  you  with  us. 

Do  you  have  a  statement,  Mr.  Stiener? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Yes  sir,  I  do.  I  would  like  to,  with  your  permission, 
submit  that  statement  for  the  record  and,  in  the  interest  of  time, 
summarize  for  the  hearing  this  morning. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  That  will  be  done.  Thank  you. 

TESTIMONY  OF  RICHARD  C.  STIENER,1  DIRECTOR,  OFFICE  OF 
SPECIAL  INVESTIGATIONS,  UNITED  STATES  GENERAL  AC- 
COUNTING  OFFICE;  ACCOMPANIED  BY  BARBARA  CART  AND 
RANDY  STONE,  UNITED  STATES  GENERAL  ACCOUNTING  OF- 
FICE 

Mr.  STIENER.  Mr.  Chairman  and  Members  of  the  Subcommittee, 
we  are  pleased  to  be  here  today  to  discuss  our  April  1995  report 
concerning  our  investigation  of  events  leading  to  a  fratricide  inci- 
dent during  the  Persian  Gulf  War.  We  also  assessed  the  adequacy 
of  U.S.  Army  investigations  following  the  incident  and  investigated 
allegations  that  Army  officials  hindered  those  investigations  or  in- 
fluenced their  outcome. 

The  fratricide  involved  engineers  attached  to  the  Army's  1st  Ar- 
mored or  1st  AD  and  elements  of  the  Army's  3rd  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment,  or  the  3rd  ACR.  One  U.S.  soldier,  Army  Sergeant  Doug- 
las Lance  Fielder,  was  unintentionally  killed.  A  second,  Sergeant 
James  E.  Napier,  was  wounded. 

I  would  now  like  to  discuss  the  events  surrounding  the  incident. 
On  August  2,  1990,  Iraqi  military  forces  invaded  the  Emirate  of 
Kuwait.  They  refused  to  withdraw  by  the  United  Nations-imposed 
deadline  of  midnight,  Eastern  Standard  Time,  January  15,  1991. 

U.S.  and  allied  forces  thus  implemented  Operation  Desert  Storm 
on  January  17,  1991,  beginning  with  an  extensive  air  campaign. 
The  ground  war  began  on  February  24,  1991,  and  ended  February 
28,  1991,  when  allied  commanders  declared  a  cease  fire. 

At  approximately  2:30  a.m.  Persian  Gulf  Time  on  February  27, 
1991,  near  Umm  Hajul,  Iraq,  elements  of  the  3rd  ACR,  while  at- 
tacking an  Iraqi  airfield,  crossed  a  U.S.  Army  Corps  boundary  line 
into  a  sector  known  to  be  controlled  by  the  1st  AD.  According  to 
the  I  Troop  Commander  of  the  3rd  Squadron,  Captain  Bo  Friesen, 


1The  prepared  statement  of  Mr.  Stiener  appears  on  page  72. 


10 

he  initially  ordered  the  gunner  of  his  Abrams  main  battle  tank  to 
fire  warning  shots  away  from  suspected  Iraqi  ground  troops. 

Those  troops  were  instead  the  engineers  of  Charlie  Company  who 
were  awaiting  recovery  of  their  disabled  vehicle.  The  two  engineers 
who  were  observing  the  3rd  Squadron's  vehicles  stated  that  they 
attempted  to  identify  themselves  before  and  after  they  were  fired 
upon  and  they  saw  no  warning  shots.  They  claimed  the  first  shots 
were  fired  directly  at  them. 

Immediately  on  firing  the  warning  shots,  Captain  Friesen's  tank 
driver  and  gunner  reported  return  fire  from  the  engineers'  position, 
a  claim  the  engineers  and  other  3rd  Squadron  troops  dispute.  Cap- 
tain Friesen  ordered  his  gunner  and  two  Bradley  fighting  vehicles 
to  fire.  A  cease  fire  was  then  called.  Sergeant  Napier  was  wounded 
during  this  firing  sequence. 

While  I  Troop  elements  were  developing  and  engaging  the  tar- 
gets, the  3rd  Squadron  Commander,  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H. 
Daly,  Jr.,  moved  into  the  engagement  area.  Once  at  the  scene,  he 
did  not  ask  for  Captain  Friesen's  assessment  of  the  situation, 
which  at  that  point  appeared  to  the  Captain  to  be  under  control. 
In  addition,  when  one  of  two  troops  riding  in  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Daly's  Bradley  asked  to  dismount  in  order  to  confront  the  sus- 
pected Iraqi  troops,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  dismounted  the  two 
without  coordinating  his  actions  with  Captain  Friesen  or  any  of  his 
subordinate  units.  This  dangerously  exposed  the  dismounts  to  the 
risk  of  fratricide. 

Further,  relying  on  his  Bradley  gunner's  assessment,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly  ordered  his  gunner  to  fire  at  an  unconfirmed  target. 
Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed  during  this  firing  sequence.  Seconds 
before  the  Bradley  gunner  fired,  First  Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels, 
the  engineers'  Executive  Officer,  had  fired  a  green  star  cluster  to 
illuminate  the  area.  Unknown  to  the  Lieutenant  at  the  time,  a 
green  star  cluster  was  a  daytime  ground-to-ground  anti-fratricide 
recognition  signal. 

We  estimate  that  the  time  between  the  first  shots  and  the  fatal 
shots  was  7  minutes,  15  seconds.  We  also  estimate  that  25  minutes 
elapsed  between  when  I  Troop,  3rd  Squadron,  first  misidentified 
the  engineers  and  their  identification  as  U.S.  troops. 

Among  the  critical  factors  resulting  in  the  fratricide  were  the  3rd 
ACR's  Operation  Plan  and  Operation  Order  for  the  February  27, 
1991,  mission.  They  were  incomplete  and  contained  contradictory, 
outdated  intelligence  information  about  enemy  presence.  Further, 
coordination  between  the  VII  Corps  and  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps 
along  the  boundary  had  disintegrated.  In  addition,  maps  used  by 
the  3rd  ACR  commanders  and  troops  in  preparation  for  the  mission 
were  outdated  and  did  not  accurately  depict  the  3rd  ACR's  objec- 
tive. Communications  failures  from  the  3rd  ACR  through  the 
squadrons  to  the  troops  also  contributed  to  the  confusion  leading 
to  the  incident. 

However,  of  greater  consequence,  both  the  3rd  ACR  Commander, 
Colonel  Douglas  Starr,  and  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander,  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  Daly,  failed  to  maintain  command  and  control  of  their 
subordinate  units.  They  did  not  ensure  subordinates'  knowledge  of 
their  southern  boundary,  past  which  they  knew  friendly  forces 
might  be  located.  They  did  not  determine  their  and  their  units'  po- 


11 

sitions  relative  to  the  boundary.  Furthermore,  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Daly  did  not  abide  by  the  stated  rules  of  engagement,  which  were 
not  to  fire  unless  fired  upon  and  not  to  fire  below  the  boundary. 

Mr.  Chairman,  we  found  the  AR-15  investigation  to  be  incom- 
plete and  inaccurate.  Among  other  shortcomings,  both  investigating 
officers  overlooked  numerous  documents  and  other  information,  in- 
cluding an  audiotape  recording  of  the  incident  that  we  located. 
They  did  not  elicit  evidence  that  some  3rd  Squadron  personnel,  in- 
cluding crew  members  aboard  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander's 
Bradley,  had  recognized  U.S.  vehicles  before  the  fatal  shots  were 
fired. 

Both  misstated  facts,  such  as  that  the  engineers  were  not  wear- 
ing Kevlar  helmets  or  load  bearing  equipment  that  would  have 
aided  identification.  Neither  investigating  officer  attempted  to  con- 
firm statements  concerning  return  fire.  Neither  investigators'  con- 
clusions and  recommendations,  which  absolved  all  participants  of 
any  responsibility,  were  supported  by  the  evidence  available. 

Later,  a  Forces  Command  Staff  Judge  Advocate,  at  the  direction 
of  the  Commander  in  Chief,  Headquarters  Forces  Command,  per- 
formed a  legal  review  and  analysis  of  the  report  of  investigation. 
He  stated  to  us  it  was  his  supposition  that  the  second  investigating 
officer  had  skewed  objectivity  and  a  predetermined  conclusion  con- 
cerning the  case. 

This  coincides  with  the  results  of  recent  GAO  and  Department 
of  Defense  studies  that  question  the  independence  of  command-di- 
rected investigations.  That  type  of  an  investigation,  according  to 
the  1994  DOD  study,  is  most  subject  to  abuse  and  the  investigators 
who  conduct  them  are  more  subject  to  command  influence. 

The  Forces  Command  Staff  Judge  Advocate  recommended  revers- 
ing the  two  investigating  officers'  findings,  noting  among  other 
failings  the  involved  3rd  ACR  officers'  negligent  actions  that  placed 
their  soldiers  at  risk  and  their  dereliction  of  duty  for  assuming  that 
personnel  in  a  rear  area  were  enemy. 

Based  on  his  recommendations,  three  3rd  ACR  officers  were  is- 
sued letters  of  reprimand  and  the  engineer's  Executive  Officer  was 
issued  a  memorandum  of  admonition.  After  those  reprimanded  re- 
plied to  the  reprimands,  the  Commander  in  Chief,  Forces  Com- 
mand, General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  at  his  discretion,  directed  that  two 
reprimands  not  be  made  part  of  the  officers'  permanent  military 
files  and  that  the  third  be  withdrawn. 

During  our  investigation,  we  learned  that  heroism  awards  relat- 
ed directly  to  the  fratricide  incident  had  been  given  to  three  officers 
and  several  men  of  the  3rd  ACR.  These  awards  were  based  on  mis- 
leading statements  and  misrepresentations  made  by  the  3rd  ACR 
Commander,  Colonel  Starr,  and  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander, 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly.  Award  support  documents  for  the  officers 
referred  to  enemy  presence  and  hostile  fire  during  the  fratricide  in- 
cident. Two  of  the  awards  indicated  the  actions  had  occurred  at  an 
airfield  about  28  kilometers  from  the  incident  cite. 

In  May  1994,  we  briefed  the  Army  on  our  investigative  findings, 
including  those  concerning  the  heroism  awards.  Following  that 
briefing,  the  Army  Office  of  Inspector  General  analyzed  the  awards. 
In  August  1994,  the  Army  OIG  requested  the  Assistant  Secretary 
of  the  Army  for   Manpower   and   Reserve  Affairs   to  revoke   the 


12 

awards  as  the  "award  recommendations  revealed  that  they  were 
not  in  contact  with  an  armed  enemy." 

Even  though  the  Army  OIG  recommended  the  revocation  of  the 
awards,  it  indicated  that  it  had  found  "no  evidence  that  any  indi- 
vidual falsified  information  in  the  awards  recommendations."  How- 
ever, we  have  found  that  several  of  the  support  documents  justify- 
ing the  awards  contain  misleading  statements  and  misrepresenta- 
tions that  were  submitted  by  those  directly  involved  in  the  frat- 
ricide incident. 

In  our  April  1995  report,  we  recommended  that  the  Secretary  of 
the  Army  first  reexamine  for  their  appropriateness  the  disciplinary 
actions  taken  regarding  this  fratricide  incident  and  the  disposition 
of  those  actions,  and  second,  follow  up  on  the  Army  OIG  request 
that  improperly  supported  awards  for  participation  in  fratricide  in- 
cidents be  revoked. 

On  June  27,  1995,  too  late  to  include  in  our  printed  statement 
for  today,  we  received  official  comments  from  the  Department  of 
Defense  concurring  with  these  recommendations.  The  Army  antici- 
pates that  it  will  complete  its  review  of  the  appropriateness  of  the 
disciplinary  action  by  September  1,  1995.  In  addition,  the  Secretary 
of  the  Army  has  revoked  the  initial  and  subsequent  awards  for  the 
fratricide  incident,  pending  further  review,  and  the  Army  is  review- 
ing all  awards  received  by  soldiers  involved  in  fratricide  incidents 
during  Desert  Shield  and  Desert  Storm  to  determine  their  propri- 
ety. 

Further,  the  Department  of  Defense  advised  us  that,  as  a  result 
of  our  investigation  and  other  lessons  learned,  the  Army  is  review- 
ing the  overall  AR  15-6  investigative  process. 

This  completes  my  prepared  remarks,  sir,  or  my  summation.  We 
would  now  welcome  any  comments  or  questions. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Stiener. 

You  have  referred  to  the  3rd  ACR,  which,  of  course,  is  the  3rd 
Armored  Cavalry  Regiment.  Just  for  points  of  clarification,  they 
were  individuals  from  the  3rd  who  ultimately  were  firing  on  the  1st 
AD,  as  you  referred  to,  which  is  the  division  that  the  engineers 
were  in  support  of,  is  that  basically  correct? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Correct,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  the  3rd  was  ultimately  engaged  with  the 
First.  In  general,  what  was  the  primary  mission  of  the  3rd  Ar- 
mored Cavalry  Regiment? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Agent  Stone  can  respond  to  that. 

Mr.  Stone.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman.  The  3rd  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment,  its  primary  mission  was  to  conduct  a  flank  screen  co- 
ordination along  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps/VII  Corps  boundary  and 
to  be  involved  in  maintaining  coordination  points  throughout  the 
movements  throughout  the  desert. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  was  the  general  mission  of  the  54th 
Engineer  Battalion,  of  which  these  young  men  who  were  fired  upon 
were  a  part? 

Mr.  Stone.  They  were,  to  provide  combat  support  or  logistic  sup- 
port for  the  1st  Armored  Division,  which  was  a  part  of  the  VII 
Corps. 

Senator  Thompson.  Can  you,  looking  at  that  chart  there,  briefly 
take  us  through  the  movement  of  the  troops  prior  to  the  fratricide? 


13 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir.  From  the  time  the  ground  war  began,  the 
3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  which  was,  as  looking  at  the  chart, 
was  to  the  left,  on  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps  arrow,  and  as  they 
proceeded  throughout  the  desert,  they  became  involved  in  what 
was  known  as  the  "Hail  Mary  Move"  within  the  Gulf  War.  The  VII 
Corps,  which  is  depicted  by  the  arrow,  to  the  right  or  to,  ulti- 
mately, the  south  of  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps  was  involved  in  that 
same  maneuver. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  On  February  26,  1991,  when  Colonel  Stan- 
received  an  order  to  attack  the  airfield,  did  he  have  certain  con- 
cerns about  the  Corps  boundary  that  you  have  referred  to? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  he  did. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  First  of  all,  explain  what  that  boundary  is 
and  its  significance. 

Mr.  STONE.  I  think  the  primary  role  of  the  boundary  is  to  main- 
tain the  separation  of  the  units,  and 

Senator  THOMPSON.  The  3rd  was  above  the  boundary  and  the  1st 
was  below  the  boundary,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Stone.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Operating  in  those  areas? 

Mr.  Stone.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  Thompson.  All  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Stone.  And  when  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  re- 
ceived the  mission  to  attack  or  assault  this  particular  airfield,  the 
Regimental  Commander,  Colonel  Starr,  had  concerns  that  the  air- 
field was  close  to  the  boundary. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  airfield  being  above  the  boundary? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  it  was.  It  was  approximately — the  southern- 
most tip  of  the  airfield  was  800  meters  north  of  the  boundary,  and 
Colonel  Starr,  at  that  point,  requested  from  the  1st  Armored  Divi- 
sion a  buffer  zone  or  a  safety  box  in  order  to  maneuver,  as  he  said, 
effectively  around  the  airfield.  Colonel  Starr  requested  on  two  occa- 
sions to  the  1st  Armored  Division,  specifically,  the  Assistant  Divi- 
sion Commander,  that  they  be  granted  this  buffer  zone,  and  on 
both  accounts,  he  was  denied  that  request. 

Senator  Thompson.  Because  the  1st  was  operating  in  that  area 
and  they  had  supply  lines  in  that  area  that  they  wanted  to  pre- 
serve, I  assume,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Stone.  That  is  correct.  That  was  the  reason  the  1st  Armored 
Division  could  not  be  assured,  even  though  it  had  moved  further 
to  the  east  than  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  they  were  con- 
cerned that  they  had  logistic  support  personnel  in  that  area. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  what  did  Colonel  Starr  do  to  address  his 
concerns  about  the  Corps  boundary,  past  that? 

Mr.  Stone.  Once  he  was  denied  the  buffer  zone,  he  then,  in  the 
middle  of  the  movement  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  to 
attack  this  airfield,  he  changed  the  operation  plan. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  you  state  whether  or  not  he  made  one 
or  more  than  one  request  to  move  that  boundary? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  he  did.  He  requested  on  at  least  two  occa- 
sions the  buffer  zone. 

Senator  Thompson.  All  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Stone.  And  once  he  received  the  final  notification  of  the  de- 
nial of  the  buffer  zone,  which  was  approximately  2200,  or  I  guess 


14 

that  is  10  p.m.  at  night,  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  was 
already  in  the  process  of  moving  towards  to  attack  this  airfield, 
and  as  they  moved,  they  went  through  several  coordination  points 
to  get  to  this  particular  location. 

Once  they  arrived  at  this  one  particular  location,  Colonel  Stan- 
then  advised  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly,  who  was  the  3rd  Squadron 
Commander,  that  there  was  going  to  be  a  change  in  the  orientation 
of  attack.  The  initial  plan  called  for  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regi- 
ment to  breach  the  boundary  approximately  seven  kilometers  south 
of  the  boundary  line. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right.  Did  Colonel  Starr  or  any  of  the 
troops  under  his  command,  in  fact,  cross  the  Corps  boundary  line? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  they  did.  The  units  attached  to  the  3rd 
Squadron,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly. 

Senator  Thompson.  Was  that  contrary  to  previous  orders? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  it  was. 

Senator  Thompson.  In  your  view,  why  did  they  end  up  crossing 
the  Corps  boundary? 

Mr.  Stone.  I  think  there  were  many  reasons,  but  I  think  four 
particular  points.  One  was  the  change  in  the  original  operation 
plan.  When  Colonel  Starr  changed  the  operation  plan  and  he  is- 
sued a  fragmentary  order  to  the  3rd  Squadron  and  to  the  remain- 
ing squadrons  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  he  did  not  ad- 
vise them  of  all  the  pertinent  information  that  was  needed  at  that 
time. 

Along  with  that,  once  Colonel  Starr  advised  Colonel  Daly  of  that 
information,  Colonel  Daly  nor  Colonel  Starr  advised  their  subordi- 
nate commanders  of  all  these  details  of  the  changed  operation  plan. 

And  then  as  they  continued  to  move,  the  3rd  ACR  depicted  a 
fence  and  a  control  tower  in  the  desert,  and  once  they  saw  that 
fence  and  that  control  tower,  they  became  confused,  and  thinking 
that  the  airfield  was  within  the  fenced  area,  they  breached  that 
fence  at  that  time,  going  below  the  boundary. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Stone,  based  on  your  investigation  of  the 
incident,  did  you  uncover  any  evidence  that  the  engineers  ever  re- 
turned fire? 

Mr.  Stone.  No,  sir.  Although  there  are  some  individuals  who 
stated  they  saw  return  fire,  our  investigation  disputes  that  claim. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  the  airfield  which  was  the  objective  of 
the  3rd  ACR  assault  intersect  the  Corps  boundary,  as  the  AR  15- 
6  investigation  had  found? 

Mr.  Stone.  No,  sir.  As  I  previously  stated,  the  southernmost  tip 
of  the  airstrip  was  approximately  800  meters  north  of  the  bound- 
ary. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Several  statements  in  the  AR  15-6  inves- 
tigation mention  a  dark  and  rainy  night.  What  was  the  weather  at 
the  time  of  the  first  shot? 

Mr.  Stone.  Reports  varied  as  far  as  illumination,  from  clear  with 
moon  and  stars  shining  to  cloudy,  but  our  investigation  indicated 
that  weather  was  not  a  factor  in  this  incident. 

Senator  Thompson.  Was  there  any  evidence  that  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly  knew  of  the  possibility  that  there  could  be  friendly 
troops  in  the  area  prior  to  the  incident? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  there  was. 


15 

Senator  Thompson.  Would  you  elaborate  on  that? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes.  In  the  initial  fragmentary  order  that  was  re- 
ceived by  all  the  squadron  commanders  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment,  they  were  alerted  that  there  was  the  possibility  the  1st 
Armored  Division  was  to  their  right  or  southern  flank. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  who  alerted  them  to  that? 

Mr.  Stone.  That  was  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  Oper- 
ations Officer. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  identify  any  of 
the  supposed  enemy  vehicles  as  being  American-made  before  he 
permitted  his  gunner  to  fire? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes.  There  were  reports,  according  to  two  individuals 
that  we  interviewed  during  our  investigations,  that  prior  to  the 
fatal  shots  being  fired,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  identified  an  Amer- 
ican-made M548  Ammunition  Carrier  as  an  Iraqi  vehicle. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  You  stated  that  the  first  investigation,  which 
commenced  within  hours  of  the  incident,  was  not  complete  or  thor- 
ough. Who  conducted  that  investigation  and  what  was  that  person's 
rank? 

Mr.  Stone.  His  name  was  David  Jacquot.  His  rank  was  a  Cap- 
tain and  he  was  a  Staff  Judge  Advocate  that  was  attached  to  or 
assigned  to  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  during  the  Gulf 
War. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  Captain  Jacquot  cooperate  with  your  in- 
vestigation? 

Mr.  Stone.  No,  sir,  he  did  not.  We  contacted  Captain  Jacquot  on 
two  occasions  and  his  reply  to  our  request  to  be  interviewed  was 
that  he  felt  the  purpose  of  our  investigation  was  for  political  rea- 
sons and  motivations. 

Senator  Thompson.  Do  you  believe  it  was  appropriate  to  have 
Captain  Jacquot  conduct  an  AR  15-6  investigation  which  was 
clearly  going  to  involve  the  conduct  of  higher-ranking  officers  in  his 
command? 

Mr.  Stiener.  No,  sir,  we  do  not  feel  that  it  should  have  taken 
place  that  way,  and  this  speaks  to  the  issue  that  I  made  in  my 
opening  remark  concerning  the  weaknesses  surrounding  the  AR 
15-6  investigation,  the  area  of  command  investigating  command. 
We  feel  that  the  individual  should  have  been  of  equal  rank  or  high- 
er rank  than  the  highest  officer  involved  in  the  incident,  which,  in 
this  case,  was  Colonel  Starr. 

Senator  Thompson.  And,  of  course,  you  have  mentioned  the  issue 
of  whether  or  not  the  engineers  returned  fire.  Was  Captain  Jacquot 
remiss  in  not  examining  the  weapons  of  the  engineers  to  see  if  they 
had  been  fired? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Definitely.  It  is  a  basic  principle  of  investigations. 
You  have  a  factual  situation  where  there  was  disagreement.  You 
should  aggressively  pursue  that  to  its  logical  end.  He  should  have 
asked  the  question,  checked  the  weapons  to  determine  if  they  had 
fired. 

Senator  Thompson.  In  your  opening  statement,  you  mentioned 
the  discovery  of  a  tape  of  this  incident.  How  did  you  discover  this 
tape? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Randy,  why  don't  you  take  it? 


16 

Mr.  STONE.  While  we  were  at  Fort  Bliss,  TX,  conducting  our  in- 
vestigation, we  were  advised  by  one  soldier  that  he  was  aware  of 
another  soldier's  possession  of  an  audiotape.  We  then  contacted 
that  individual  and  received  that  tape  from  him. 

Senator  Thompson.  Is  this  the  first  time  the  tape  had  been  dis- 
covered by  any  investigators,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  it  was.  At  that  same  time,  during  our  in- 
quiry at  Fort  Bliss,  we  were  also  made  aware  that  there  were  ap- 
proximately two  other  tapes  that  had  been  made,  but  we  were  un- 
able to  obtain  them. 

Senator  Thompson.  As  best  you  could  determine,  as  far  as  the 
investigation  by  Captain  Jacquot  is  concerned,  did  he  actually  ever 
interview  anybody  as  such  or  did  he  just  take  statements? 

Mr.  Stone.  Basically,  it  appears  that  on  the  scene,  Captain 
Jacquot  issued  witness  statement  forms  to  many  of  the  participants 
who  were  involved,  but  there  was  no  questioning  or  probing  into 
of  any  depth. 

Senator  Thompson.  Was  the  tape  something  that  should  have 
been  discovered  in  a  thorough  Army  investigation? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  I  believe  so,  based  on  the  fact  that  we  have 
learned  that  during  training  exercises,  the  radio  transmissions 
within  the  maneuvering  room  inside  these  vehicles,  the  Ml  tank 
and  the  Bradley,  they  were  used  to  record  for  training  purposes. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Perhaps,  Mr.  Stiener,  you  might  answer  this 
question.  Do  you  agree  with  the  ultimate  conclusion  in  the  AR  15- 
6  investigation,  which  found  that  all  personnel  acted  reasonably 
and  responsibly? 

Mr.  Stiener.  No,  sir,  we  do  not.  We  feel  that  the  facts  and  find- 
ings of  those  two  investigators  led  to  the  logical  conclusion  that 
people  should  be  held  accountable  and  responsible  for  the  events. 
We  also  feel  that  they  avoided  dealing  with  what  we  consider  to  be 
the  major  issue,  and  that  is  the  issue  of  command  and  control. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  did  you  become  aware  of  the  Bronze 
Star  medals  that  were  issued  to  the  soldiers  in  the  3rd  ACR? 

Mr.  Stone.  One  of  the  soldiers  that  we  interviewed  who  was  at- 
tached to  the  3rd  Squadron  and  was  involved  in  dismounting  his 
vehicle  to  go  down  to  render  aid  to  the  engineers  indicated  to  us 
that  he  had  received  an  Army  commendation  medal  for  his  actions 
of  that  evening.  He  then  advised  us  that  once  he  was  presented 
with  the  award,  that  he  was  embarrassed  upon  his  receipt,  based 
on  the  fact  it  was  as  a  result  of  this  fratricide  incident. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  your  investigation  reveal  as  to  whether 
or  not  these  soldiers  who  received  the  Bronze  Stars  were  engaged 
in  any  combat  actions  throughout  the  Persian  Gulf  War  other  than 
this  particular  incident? 

Mr.  Stone.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  They  did  not  engage  in  any  other  combat? 

Mr.  Stone.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  you  find  misleading  statements  or  mis- 
representations in  any  of  the  documents  submitted  in  support  for 
these  awards  for  heroism? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir.  We  found  that  the  award  language,  espe- 
cially the  citations,  indicated  that  the  soldiers  were  cited  for  being 


\  17 

in  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy  and  that  they  were  involved  in 
taking  enemy  prisoner  personnel. 

Senator  Thompson.  Were  Colonel  Starr  and  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Daly  involved  in  some  of  these  misrepresentations? 

Mr.  Stone.  Yes,  sir,  they  were. 

Senator  Thompson.  When  did  the  Army  finally  revoke  the  med- 
als? 

Ms.  Cart.  The  awards  for  valor  were  revoked  on  April  18  of  this 
year,  which  was  actually  the  day  before  our  report  on  the  incident 
was  released.  Immediately  after  that,  the  awards  were  then  re- 
issued for  non-valorous  achievement.  Those  awards  were  revoked 
on  May  5,  1995,  by  the  Secretary  of  the  Army,  pending  further  re- 
view. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  day  before  we  released  the  report,  as 
you  recall,  we  informed  the  Army  and  they  were  very  much  aware 
that  we  were  getting  ready  to  release  your  GAO  report,  and  it  was 
at  that  time  that  they  chose  to  revoke  their  awards? 

Ms.  Cart.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  But  did  they  tell  us  that  they  were  simulta- 
neously reissuing  the  awards  without  the  "V"  device? 

Ms.  Cart.  No,  sir,  and  actually,  until  we  received  the  response 
from  the  Army  this  week,  we  had  had  no  official  notification  of 
their  actions. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  I  would  like  from  the  GAO  is  a  letter 1 
submitted  for  the  record  setting  forth  your  recommendations  as  to 
how  these  kinds  of  investigations  should  be  conducted  in  the  fu- 
ture. Is  that  agreeable  with  you? 

Mr.  Stiener.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  We  appreciate  that  very  much.  If  there  are 
no  other  questions,  we  will  thank  you  for  your  testimony.  You  have 
made  a  very  substantial  contribution  to  this  investigation  and  to 
the  effort  to  find  out  what  went  on  here.  We  sincerely  appreciate 
your  diligence  in  this  matter.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Our  next  witnesses  will  be  Bo  Friesen  and  Kevin  Wessels.  Both 
Mr.  Friesen  and  Mr.  Wessels  are  former  Army  officers  who,  along 
with  their  units,  were  involved  in  this  friendly  fire  incident.  Mr. 
Friesen  is  a  former  Army  Captain  and  was  the  Commanding  Offi- 
cer of  I  Troop,  3rd  Squadron,  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  when 
this  incident  occurred.  Mr.  Wessels,  a  former  Army  Lieutenant, 
was  the  Executive  Officer  of  C  Company,  54th  Engineering  Battal- 
ion, 1st  Armored  Division,  at  the  time  of  this  incident. 

Gentlemen,  we  swear  in  all  of  our  witnesses  who  appear  before 
this  Subcommittee  and  I  would  ask  you  both  to  rise  and  raise  your 
right  hands. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  give  before  this 
Subcommittee  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but 
the  truth,  so  help  you,  God? 

Mr.  Wessels.  I  do. 

Mr.  Friesen.  I  do. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you  very  much. 

I  will  ask  Mr.  Wessels  to  go  first.  Do  you  have  a  statement  to 
make,  Mr.  Wessels? 


^he  document  referred  to  was  marked  Exhibit  40,  and  can  be  found  on  page  198 


18 

TESTIMONY  OF  KEVIN  J.  WESSELS1 

Mr.  WESSELS.  Yes,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  do.  My  name  is  Kevin 
Wessels,  and  during  Operation  Desert  Storm,  I  was  a  First  Lieu- 
tenant attached  to  the  54th  Engineering  Battalion,  United  States 
Army.  We  were  responsible  for  moving  ammunition  and  other  logis- 
tics support  for  the  Second  Brigade  as  it  advanced  in  the  war.  I 
also  had  the  privilege  of  commanding  Corporal  Lance  Fielder  and 
three  other  enlisted  men  during  the  devastating  attack  on  our  posi- 
tion that  is  the  subject  of  this  hearing. 

On  February  26,  1991,  our  M548  ammunition  carrier  broke 
down.  While  awaiting  recovery,  we  pulled  over  to  the  side  of  a 
main  thoroughfare  known  as  a  "log  line"  or  logistics  line.  Although 
this  seemed  to  be  a  relatively  safe  position,  since  American  trucks 
were  continually  passing  within  50  feet  of  us  most  of  the  night,  I 
still  posted  a  two-man  guard.  In  the  early  hours  of  the  morning, 
those  guards  recognized  American  vehicles,  including  several  Brad- 
leys  and  a  tank.  To  this  day,  I  will  never  understand  why,  if  we 
took  the  time  to  not  only  watch  and  listen  for  their  vehicles,  they 
were  unable  to  look  at  us  more  carefully  before  they  started  firing. 

At  approximately  3  a.m.  in  the  morning  on  February  27,  1991, 
I  was  awakened  by  the  sound  of  gunfire  and  one  of  my  men 
screaming,  "Sir,  the  Americans  are  shooting  at  us!"  Within  seconds, 
another  round  of  fire  ripped  through  our  vehicles  as  we  scrambled 
for  cover.  It  was  at  this  point  that  one  of  my  men,  Sergeant  James 
Napier,  was  hit  in  the  leg  as  he  tried  to  escape.  A  trailer  loaded 
with  ammunition  started  to  burn,  with  some  of  the  rounds  detonat- 
ing as  the  fire  spread. 

Specialist  Craig  Walker  ran  to  Sergeant  Napier  and  carried  him 
to  safety  near  Corporal  Lance  Fielder  and  Specialist  Robert  Driben. 
While  Corporal  Fielder,  Specialist  Walker,  and  Specialist  Driben 
attended  to  the  wounds  sustained  by  Sergeant  Napier,  I  ran  back 
to  my  Humvee,  got  on  my  radio,  and  announced  on  several  dif- 
ferent command  frequencies  that  we  were  being  fired  upon  by  our 
own  troops. 

When  the  third  round  of  fire  started,  I  crawled  back  behind  the 
M548  ammunition  carrier.  When  the  firing  stopped,  I  ran  back  to 
the  Humvee,  trying  desperately  again  to  reach  someone  over  the 
radio  who  could  help  us.  I  had  no  luck  in  contacting  anyone. 

When  the  fourth  round  of  fire  began,  I  grabbed  a  flare  and 
crawled  back  behind  the  M548  ammunition  carrier.  When  the 
shooting  let  up,  I  fired  the  flare.  I  hoped  that  it  was  a  parachute 
flare  which  would  illuminate  the  area  long  enough  to  be  identified 
as  Americans.  It  turned  out  to  be  a  green  star  cluster  and  extin- 
guished quickly. 

Later  on,  I  would  be  criticized  for  using  a  daytime  friendly  forces 
recognition  signal,  a  green  cluster,  instead  of  a  nighttime  signal  or 
a  white  cluster.  Not  only  had  I  never  been  briefed  on  these  signals, 
I  did  not  even  have  a  white  cluster.  The  truth  is,  I  was  trying  to 
light  up  the  sky  in  an  attempt  to  save  my  men,  and  I  was  too  busy 
being  fired  upon  by  other  Americans  to  take  inventory  of  my  pyro- 
technic devices. 


JThe  prepared  statement  of  Mr.  Wessels  appears  on  page  75. 


19 

Soon,  a  fifth  blast  of  fire  came  from  the  Americans.  When  the 
barrage  stopped,  I  saw  American  armored  vehicles  moving  over  to 
our  side.  I  quickly  recognized  that  we  would  no  longer  have  the 
protection  of  the  M548  ammunition  carrier  but  would  be  caught  in 
a  deadly  crossfire  if  the  American  unit  maneuvering  to  our  side 
began  firing.  I  became  acutely  aware  of  the  fact  that  if  I  did  not 
do  something  quickly,  all  five  of  us  would  surely  be  killed. 

At  this  point,  I  turned  on  my  red-lensed  flashlight,  stood  with  my 
hands  over  my  head,  and  walked  slowly  forward  towards  the  near- 
est Bradley  armored  vehicle.  The  gunner  of  the  Bradley,  who  had 
his  50-caliber  machine  gun  pointed  straight  at  my  chest  said,  "You 
better  be  an  American!"  I  will  spare  you  my  initial  response  and 
simply  say  that  he  was  shocked  when  he  found  out  that  I  actually 
was. 

A  captain  from  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  or  3rd  ACR, 
whose  guns  had  been  firing  at  us  walked  back  with  me  to  where 
my  men  were  located.  It  was  then  that  I  learned  that  one  of  my 
finest  soldiers,  Corporal  Lance  Fielder,  had  been  hit  twice  during 
the  last  round  of  fire.  I  was  deeply  saddened  by  the  realization  that 
Lance  Fielder  had  been  killed.  It  was  a  tragedy  that  never  should 
have  happened,  Mr.  Chairman. 

I  immediately  called  our  brigade  Medivac.  I  could  only  get  one 
helicopter,  and,  in  accordance  with  Army  doctrine,  they  would  not 
carry  a  wounded  soldier  and  a  dead  soldier  in  the  same  helicopter. 
The  3rd  ACR  captain  called  for  his  helicopter  and  said  that  they 
would  take  Sergeant  Napier  and  Corporal  Fielder  together. 

I  filled  out  a  Casualty  Feeder  Report  and  stated  that  Corporal 
Fielder  had  been  killed  by  friendly  fire.  The  helicopter  apparently 
blew  the  first  report  away,  so  I  filled  out  another  one,  again  stating 
that  the  death  was  a  result  of  friendly  fire.  I  was  shocked  to  learn 
that  Corporal  Fielder's  parents  were  later  told  that  he  was  killed 
by  Iraqi  forces. 

Within  a  few  hours,  an  AR  15-6  investigation  into  this  incident 
began.  Captain  David  Jacquot  was  assigned  the  task  of  conducting 
the  investigation.  He  did  not  ask  me  any  questions.  He  simply  re- 
quested that  I  write  a  statement  about  the  incident.  That  was  the 
only  time  that  I  have  been  permitted  to  make  a  full  statement 
about  this  incident  until  this  Senate  hearing. 

The  remainder  of  the  Army's  investigation  was  very  frustrating, 
as  I  felt  I  was  being  questioned  in  such  a  way  as  to  ensure  certain 
specific  answers.  For  example,  several  months  after  the  incident,  I 
was  interviewed  over  the  phone  by  Brigadier  General  Nicholas  Hal- 
ley.  He  asked  me  different  questions  about  colors  of  flares  and 
lights  that  are  used  as  friendly  forces  recognition  signals.  He  did 
not  seem  interested  at  all  in  the  discrepancies  and  conflicting  state- 
ments that  I  attempted  to  point  out  that  occurred  during  the  AR 
15-6  investigation.  He  just  said,  "Thanks  very  much,"  and  he  hung 
up.  Again,  I  feel  that  General  Halley  was  looking  for  certain  spe- 
cific answers  that  would  relieve  the  3rd  ACR  of  their  numerous 
blunders. 

Upon  reading  the  various  reports  of  this  incident,  I  was  as- 
tounded to  learn  that,  in  order  to  justify  their  actions,  members  of 
the  3rd  ACR  claimed  that  my  men  returned  fire.  Let  me  make  one 
point  very  clear.  Neither  I,  nor  any  of  my  men,  ever  fired  a  single 


20 

shot.  Why  would  we?  We  knew  that  they  were  Americans  the  en- 
tire time.  At  no  time  did  Captain  Jacquot  or  anyone  even  check  one 
of  our  weapons  to  determine  if  they  had  been  fired.  If  they  had, 
they  would  have  found  that  our  weapons  were  full  of  dust. 

In  late  1991  and  again  in  early  1992,  I  was  interviewed  during 
an  Army  Inspector  General  investigation  that  I  was  told  was  being 
conducted  to  determine  the  facts  and  circumstances  surrounding 
the  reporting  of  the  death  of  Corporal  Fielder.  However,  by  April 
20,  1992,  the  focus  of  the  investigation  had  shifted  to,  and  I  quote, 
"allegations  of  improprieties  related  to  command  and  control  issues 
within  the  1st  Armored  Division  and  the  54th  Engineering  Battal- 
ion." In  other  words,  my  actions  were  now  being  investigated. 

Two  weeks  later,  I  was  slapped  with  a  letter  of  admonishment 
from  General  Edwin  Burba.  He  sent  this  to  me  in  the  mail.  Gen- 
eral Burba  was  not  even  in  my  chain  of  command.  Unlike  others 
who  received  letters  of  reprimand,  I  was  given  no  opportunity  to 
respond.  This  letter  was  devastating  to  me.  It  stated  that  I  may 
have  indirectly  contributed  to  the  death  of  Lance  Fielder.  Since  the 
day  I  received  that  letter,  those  words  have  been  etched  in  my 
mind. 

I  ask  each  of  you  to  think  how  such  a  letter  would  affect  you, 
after  seeing  your  men,  after  seeing  your  equipment  torn  apart  by 
gunfire  from  what  you  knew  to  be  other  American  forces.  The  ac- 
tions I  took  that  night  were  with  one  single  thought  in  mind:  Do 
whatever  it  takes  to  save  the  lives  of  my  men  from  the  awesome 
amount  of  American  firepower. 

As  I  sit  here  today,  I  can  assure  this  panel,  the  Army,  and,  most 
importantly,  the  parents  of  Lance  Fielder,  that  I  did  everything — 
everything  in  my  power  to  protect  my  men  and  stop  the  attack.  I 
will  regret  for  the  rest  of  my  life  that  I  was  unsuccessful  in  that 
effort. 

Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  appear  before  you  this  morning. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Wessels. 

Mr.  Friesen? 

TESTIMONY  OF  BO  H.  FRIESEN » 

Mr.  Friesen.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  also  appreciate  the  op- 
portunity to  appear  before  the  Subcommittee  here  today  and  am 
very  grateful  for  the  fact  that  the  Subcommittee  is  reviewing  this 
tragic  incident.  Quite  simply,  it  never  should  have  happened. 

I  will  give  you  my  viewpoint  of  what  happened  that  night.  I  was 
a  member  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  or  3rd  ACR,  and 
I  commanded  nine  M1A1  Abrams  tanks  and  12  Bradley  fighting 
vehicles.  It  was  my  tank  and  two  of  my  Bradleys  that  first  made 
contact  with  the  engineers  on  the  airfield. 

It  is  very  important  to  state  that  I  deeply,  deeply  regret  the 
events  of  that  night,  and  like  Kevin  Wessels,  I  will  have  to  live 
with  this  memory  for  the  rest  of  my  life.  But  it  is  also  important 
to  note  that,  given  the  situation  and  the  information  with  which  I 
was  provided  by  my  commanders,  that  I  also  acted  with  extreme 
caution.  Let  me  explain. 


1  The  prepared  statement  of  Mr.  Friesen  appears  on  page  76 


21 

Our  objective  that  night  was  to  seize  the  Umm  Hajul  airfield.  My 
squadron  commander,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly,  briefed  me  that 
our  unit  would  be  the  most  forward  one  in  the  area.  Furthermore, 
I  was  told  that  the  airfield  we  were  assaulting  would  be  assaulting 
by  a  heavily  dug-in  battalion  of  Iraqi  forces.  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Daly  never  mentioned  the  possibility  of  any  friendly  forces  in  the 
area. 

Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  directed  the  use  of  a  diamond  assault 
formation.  The  significance  of  this  formation  is  that  there  is  abso- 
lutely no  reconnaissance  whatsoever  forward.  It  places  the  maxi- 
mum tank  firepower  in  the  front,  but  is  pretty  much  blind.  The  sole 
purpose  of  this  formation  is  to  destroy  confirmed  enemy  positions, 
not  suspected  enemy  positions.  This  clearly  indicated  to  me  that  we 
would  encounter  no  friendly  forces  at  any  time  during  our  oper- 
ation. 

Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  sent  the  squadron  on  a  blind  attack  into 
an  uncertain  area.  This  was  a  clear  violation  of  basic  tactical  prin- 
ciples. The  use  of  this  type  of  formation  alone  confirmed  in  my 
mind  that  we  would  likely  encounter  heavy  resistance  by  Iraqi 
forces  on  the  airfield. 

As  we  approached  the  airfield,  my  troop  discovered  what  I  now 
know  to  be  Lieutenant  Wessels'  unit.  Based  on  intelligence  brief- 
ings I  had  received,  I  assumed  that  he  and  his  men  were  Iraqi  sol- 
diers. Initially,  after  obtaining  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's  permis- 
sion, I  ordered  that  a  few  warning  shots  be  fired.  After  this,  it  is 
my  firm  belief  that  we  began  receiving  return  fire  from  the  sus- 
pected enemy  force.  As  we  just  heard  from  Kevin,  this  was  not  the 
case.  All  I  can  offer  to  him  and  his  men  is  that  we  truly  believed 
this  to  be  so. 

We  then  returned  fire  in  order  to  suppress  what  we  thought  were 
enemy  forces.  After  we  had  expended  what  I  believed  to  be  the 
maximum  amount  of  necessary  force,  I  ordered  a  cease  fire.  The 
soldiers,  who  at  this  time  we  still  thought  to  be  Iraqis,  no  longer 
posed  a  threat.  They  were  silent.  We  were  heavily  armed  and  could 
easily  have  destroyed  the  small  group  in  a  matter  of  seconds.  They 
had  no  place  to  escape.  We  contained  them  on  flat  terrain  and 
could  easily  have  captured  them  if  they  had  tried  to  escape.  Even 
assuming  that  they  were  Iraqis,  shooting  them  at  this  time  would 
have  been  completely  unjustified. 

At  this  point,  confusion  broke  out  as  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's 
command  group,  which  included  three  Bradleys  and  a  number  of 
smaller  vehicles,  pulled  up  unannounced  on  my  left.  Some  of  my 
men  believed  his  vehicles  were  Iraqi  and  nearly  fired  on  them.  An- 
other disaster  was  narrowly  averted. 

Later,  in  a  similar  display  of  poor  command  judgment,  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  Daly  allowed  two  of  his  men  to  leave  his  Bradley  and 
cross  immediately  in  front  of  our  guns.  One  of  his  soldiers  soon  be- 
came lost  and  wandered  over  to  another  Bradley.  For  that  brilliant 
display  of  military  navigation,  I  believe  he  received  the  Bronze  Star 
with  "V"  device.  We  had  no  idea  where  these  men  came  from  and 
we  initially  thought  they  were  Iraqis.  Once  again,  we  came  within 
a  razor's  edge  of  shooting  them. 

As  I  continued  to  monitor  the  situation,  I  could  clearly  see 
through  my  thermal  sights  as  one  soldier  in  Kevin's  unit  assisted 


22 

a  fellow  soldier  to  a  safer  location.  Neither  soldier  was  carrying  a 
weapon.  I  heard  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's  voice  come  over  the 
radio  screaming,  "They're  getting  away!  They're  getting  away!"  and 
a  burst  of  machine  gun  fire  erupted  from  my  left,  striking  the  sol- 
dier who  had  been  helping  his  comrade.  A  few  moments  later,  a 
second  burst  struck  him  again.  I  later  learned  that  this  soldier  was 
Corporal  Fielder.  I  was  absolutely  furious.  It  became  obvious  that 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  had  disregarded  and  overridden  my  cease 
fire.  If  he  had  not,  Corporal  Fielder  would  still  be  alive  today. 

The  mood  within  my  troop  got  ugly.  My  soldiers  were  very  angry 
about  what  had  just  happened.  Several  threats  against  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly  came  across  the  radio  net  and  I  had  to  intervene  to 
restore  order. 

To  make  matters  even  worse,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  came  up 
to  me  about  an  hour  after  the  shooting  and  said,  "We  have  to  keep 
this  under  our  hat."  His  comments  were  overheard  by  some  of  my 
troops,  and  I  can  only  imagine  the  signal  this  sent  to  them.  Several 
days  later,  I  discovered  that  my  fellow  officers  were  under  the  false 
impression  that  we  had  destroyed  an  Iraqi  force  on  the  night  this 
incident  occurred.  When  I  tried  to  correct  this  misinformation, 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  took  me  aside  and  once  again  advised  me 
to  remain  silent  about  what  had  transpired. 

In  reviewing  the  results  of  the  subsequent  AR  15-6  investigation, 
I  learned  that  an  officer  assigned  to  the  3rd  ACR  stated  that  he 
had  attempted  to  receive  authorization  to  cross  the  Corps  boundary 
in  order  to  attack  the  Umm  Hajul  airfield.  This  was  denied  by  the 
1st  Armored  Division  because  they  had  American  supply  trains  in 
the  area.  This  is  exactly  what  Lieutenant  Wessels  and  his  unit 
were  doing  there. 

The  officer  stated  that  he  briefed  the  3rd  ACR  Executive  Officer 
of  this  fact,  who  then  passed  it  on  to  Colonel  Starr,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly's  immediate  commander.  If  Colonel  Starr  ordered  the 
attack  on  that  airfield  with  the  knowledge  of  American  supply 
trains  in  the  area,  then  Colonel  Starr  is  as  directly  responsible  for 
Corporal  Fielder's  death  as  is  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly.  I  believe 
this  to  be  exactly  the  case. 

It  is  crystal  clear  that  Colonel  Starr  and  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly 
were  aware  of  both  the  Corps  boundary  and  the  possibility  of 
friendly  units  in  the  area.  Incredibly,  they  ordered  and  conducted 
a  violent  assault  into  the  Umm  Hajul  area.  I  feel  these  were  crimi- 
nally negligent  acts. 

In  sitting  next  to  Kevin  today  and  hearing  him  talk  about  his  let- 
ter of  admonition  and  the  obvious  effect  it  has  had  on  his  life,  I  feel 
compelled  to  tell  this  panel  that,  as  an  eyewitness  to  the  bravery 
of  his  actions  and  the  leadership  he  displayed,  the  letter  is  totally 
unjustified.  The  Army  should  withdraw  the  letter  and  apologize  to 
Kevin. 

To  the  family  of  Lance  Fielder  and  to  Kevin  and  the  men  under 
his  command,  I  can  never  express  my  true  sorrow  enough  for  the 
events  that  took  place  that  night.  I  learned  early  in  my  career  as 
a  cadet  at  West  Point  that  integrity  and  leadership  are  the  ele- 
ments most  vital  to  commanding  men  in  combat.  This  forum  and 
this  investigation,  looking  into  the  true  causes  of  this  tragic  event, 
can  go  a  long  way  to  restoring  accountability  and  the  integrity  that 


23 

must  exist  in  our  armed  forces.  You  have  my  sincerest  thanks  for 
that  effort. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Friesen. 

We  have  the  unusual  situation  here  of  having  a  young  man  who 
was  fired  upon  and  a  young  man  who  was  part  of  the  group  who 
was  doing  the  firing,  but  you  both  share  a  commonality  in  that  you 
were  put  in  circumstances  that  were  not  under  your  control.  I  com- 
mend both  of  you  for  being  here  today  and  for  your  testimony. 

Mr.  Wessels,  how  did  you  know  that  the  vehicles  approaching 
you  were  American? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Mr.  Chairman,  we  had  two  guards  on  rotation  the 
entire  night,  and  this  way,  they  could  speak  to  each  other  and  kind 
of  point  things  out.  They  both  heard  the  approaching  American  ve- 
hicles first.  The  Ml  Abrams  tank  has  a  very  distinctive  sound.  But 
in  order  to  confirm  this  sighting,  they  also  used  their  night  vision 
goggles.  Again,  they  identified  the  vehicle  as  an  American,  not  only 
by  the  silhouette  it  makes,  but  they  could  also  see  the  coalition 
markings  on  the  side  and  they  thought  that  this  was  a  recovery  ve- 
hicle that  was  coming  to  assist  us. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Wessels,  you  were  admonished,  in  part, 
because  the  Army  concluded  that  your  men  were  not  wearing  the 
Kevlar  helmets  or  the  flak  jackets  that  they  say  would  have  helped 
you  be  recognized  as  Americans.  Were  your  men  wearing  this 
equipment? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Yes,  Mr.  Chairman.  The  two  people  that  were  on 
guard  at  all  times  had  their  full  combat  gear,  to  include  their 
Kevlar  helmet  and  flak  jackets.  The  rest  of  the  men  that  were 
sleeping  kept  on  their  complete  combat  gear  except  for  their  Kevlar 
helmets,  but  they  were  not  able  to  be  seen  by  the  opposing  forces 
at  that  time  because  they  were  down  in  their  vehicles. 

Also,  the  big  question  that  I  had  about  this  whole  thing  is  if  they 
were  able  to  see  such  minute  detail  such  as  flak  vests  and  Kevlar 
helmets,  why  were  they  not  able  to  recognize  American  vehicles  or 
the  coalition  markings  first? 

Senator  THOMPSON.  As  you  have  heard  testimony  earlier  this 
morning,  apparently  they  did  recognize  American  vehicles,  at  least 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  and  some  of  the  others.  Mr.  Friesen,  were 
you  ever  made  aware  of  the  appropriate  anti-fratricide  signals  to 
be  used  during  the  Persian  Gulf  War? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  only  symbol  that  we  were  famil- 
iar with  was  the  inverted  "V"  painted  in  black  paint  on  the  side 
of  the  vehicles,  which,  unfortunately,  under  thermals,  is  invisible. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  at  night,  it  is  virtually  useless,  I  assume? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  Mr.  Chairman,  it  is. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Wessels,  what  about  you? 

Mr.  Wessels.  I  was  not  aware  of  any  flares  or  anything  like  that 
being  used  as  anti-fratricide  signals.  I  later  learned  and  was  criti- 
cized for  the  fact  that  I  fired  a  green  star  cluster,  which  is  sup- 
posedly a  daytime  friendly  forces  signal,  as  opposed  to  a  white  star 
cluster,  which  was  a  nighttime  recognition  signal.  But  even  if  I  had 
known  about  these  signals,  none  of  us  were  issued  anything  like 
that,  so  I  could  not  have  used  them  even  if  I  had  them  in  my  pos- 
session. 


24 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Wessels,  can  you  describe  how  your  men 
performed  once  the  assault  began? 

Mr.  Wessels.  I  think  that  the  best  way  to  describe  them  is  that 
they  performed  heroically,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  do  not  think  that  they 
have  received  enough  credit  for  what  they  have  done.  In  my  state- 
ment, I  said  specifically  how  Corporal  Walker  carried  Sergeant  Na- 
pier to  safety.  He  carried  him  under  the  fire  from  the  3rd  ACR. 

In  addition  to  that,  they  were  conducting  first  aid  on  a  soldier 
who  not  only  had  gunshot  wounds,  but  shrapnel  wounds.  Because 
Corporal  Fielder  was  able  to  take  such  command  of  the  situation, 
he  directed  Specialist  Driben  to  continually  go  back  to  the  Humvee 
and  pick  up  medical  supplies  while  he  and  Specialist  Walker  at- 
tended to  Sergeant  Napier,  then  eventually  sent  Specialist  Walker 
to  go  dig  a  hasty  defensive  position  to  hide  everyone  in  the  sand 
and  to  protect  them  from  the  fire. 

If  I  had  to  supervise  everything  that  they  were  doing,  I  would 
not  have  been  able  to  do  what  I  needed  to  do  to  try  to  stop  the  fire. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Friesen,  you  have  indicated  you  did  not 
know  that  anyone  had  identified  any  of  the  vehicles  as  American 
or  possibly  American  vehicles,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Friesen.  That  is  correct,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Had  you  been  told  that  at  that  time  you 
were  below  the  boundary  line? 

Mr.  Friesen.  No,  sir.  I  only  had  the  most  remote  idea  that  VII 
Corps  was  20,  30,  40,  maybe  100  miles  to  our  south,  but  a  bound- 
ary line  was  never  mentioned. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Had  you  been  told  that  there  was  a  possibil- 
ity of  American  troops  in  that  area? 

Mr.  Friesen.  No,  sir.  I  had  been  told  we  would  be  operating 
seven  kilometers  forward  of  any  American  positions. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  have  you  since  learned  that  all  that  in- 
formation was  apparently  available  to  some  of  your  superiors  that 
night? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir,  sadly  enough  so. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Friesen,  after  you  ordered  the  cease  fire 
from  the  initial  burst  that  you  described,  did  you  see  the  opposing 
force,  as  you  thought  it  to  be  at  that  time,  take  any  hostile  or  ag- 
gressive action? 

Mr.  Friesen.  No,  sir.  They  took  no  actions  which  could  even  re- 
motely be  construed  as  hostile. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Did  you  feel  at  that  time  that  the  situation 
was  totally  under  control? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Could  you  have  eliminated  the  perceived 
enemy  very  expeditiously  if  you  had  chosen  to  do? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  At  any  time? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir.  We  used  the  lightest  weapons  at  our  dis- 
posal. The  heavy  weapons  would  have  ended  everything  in  a  couple 
of  seconds. 

Senator  Thompson.  During  the  cease  fire,  was  there  any  indica- 
tion that,  in  fact,  one  or  more  of  the  people  under  surveillance 
there  were  trying  to  give  up? 


25 

Mr.  Friesen.  They  had  done  exactly  what  I  would  expect  them 
to  do,  Mr.  Chairman,  which  is  to  lay  down  and  keep  flat.  It  was 
our  intent  to  give  them  a  couple  of  minutes  to  surrender,  but  there 
was  absolutely  no  display  of  aggressive  action  from  them. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Friesen,  what  justification  did  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  Daly  have  for  breaking  your  cease  fire? 

Mr.  FRIESEN.  In  my  mind,  I  can  think  of  no  justification. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Would  you  describe  exactly  how  it  happened 
that  Colonel  Daly  arrived  on  the  scene?  We  have  the  positions  on 
the  chart  there  when  the  fatal  shots  were  fired.  The  red  letter  "B" 
at  the  top  there  indicates  the  position  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly, 
I  believe,  before  he  came  to  approximate  your  position  there,  and 
the  broken  line  there  indicates  his  path  there  down  to  where  you 
were.  Does  that  comport  generally  with  your  recollection? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  you  had  the  situation  under  control.  You 
had  ordered  a  cease  fire.  Then  describe  Colonel  Daly  and  the  troops 
under  him,  their  movement  and  the  actions  after  that. 

Mr.  Friesen.  Sir,  they  were  slightly  east  of  us.  We  had  been  pro- 
gressing eastward  to  attack  and  then  swung  south  to  hit  the  air- 
field. When  he  came  back  around,  he  approached  from  the  east, 
which  was  from  the  direction  of  the  enemy.  This  caused  a  mild 
amount  of  panic  in  some  of  my  rear  platoons,  because  one  of  the 
vehicles  closely  resembled  a  Soviet-built  vehicle  that  the  Iraqis 
had. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  close  did  you  come  actually  to  firing  on 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  because  he  had  not  identified  himself  or 
communicated  with  you  in  any  way  that  he  was  coming,  is  that  cor- 
rect? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir,  we  came  pretty  close.  One  of  my  lieuten- 
ants was  sharp  enough  to  recognize  the  minute  difference  between 
the  vehicle  and  quickly  announced  over  the  general  troop  frequency 
that  we  did  have  friendlies  approaching  on  our  left  and  to  be  very 
careful  not  to  shoot  anybody  there. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  continue  on  with  what  happened,  as  you 
recall  it. 

Mr.  Friesen.  We  were  still  waiting  for  what  I  perceived  to  be  an 
Iraqi  force  to  surrender.  I  firmly  believed  in  my  mind  that  they 
would,  given  just  a  few  more  minutes  of  opportunity. 

Senator  Thompson.  They  had  nowhere  to  go? 

Mr.  Friesen.  No,  sir,  they  did  not.  I  then  saw  two  individuals 
dashing  across  my  front  towards  one  of  my  Bradley  fighting  vehi- 
cles. We  immediately  put  the  cross-hairs  on  them  for  the  machine 
gun,  established  the  range  for  the  target  with  the  laser,  and  were 
observing  them,  ready  to  shoot,  finger  on  the  trigger,  when  I  no- 
ticed one  of  them  was  wearing  a  Kevlar  [helmet].  I  have  to  say, 
they  were  quite  a  bit  closer  than  the  engineers  so  it  was  more  eas- 
ily visible. 

At  that  point,  I  asked  all  of  my  subordinates  who  had  put  people 
on  the  ground  because  I  had  specifically  ordered  them  to  keep  ev- 
erybody on  their  vehicles.  All  replies  came  back  negative,  and  then 
one  of  my  scout  sections  came  back  with  the  report  that  they  were 
from  Colonel  Daly's  vehicle. 


26 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  when  Colonel  Daly  arrived  and  stopped, 
these  two  individuals  came  from  his  Bradley  vehicle? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Had  anybody  told  you — you  were  in  com- 
mand of  the  I  Troop  at  that  time,  right?  Had  anybody  told  you  that 
individuals  would  be  getting  out  of  any  vehicles  there  or  approach- 
ing you  in  any  way? 

Mr.  Friesen.  No,  sir.  I  was  under  the  firm  belief  that  any  dis- 
mounted individuals  were  enemy. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  again,  you  thought  they  were  the  enemy 
and  almost  shot  them? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  I  take  it,  as  I  recall,  one  of  those  two 
individuals,  one  was  following  the  other  one  and  the  one  behind  ac- 
tually got  lost  and  had  to  get  into  one  of  your  vehicles,  is  that  cor- 
rect? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir,  that  is  correct. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  he  is  one  of  the  ones  who  received  a 
medal  for  valor,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  FRIESEN.  Yes,  sir,  a  Bronze  Star  with  "V"  device. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  For  that  action,  apparently? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Wessels,  in  your  mind,  from  the  time  the 
first  shots  were  fired  until  the  last  shots  ended,  approximately  how 
long  did  the  attack  last? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Probably  up  to  10  minutes  or  so,  but  it  did  seem 
to  last  forever. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Friesen,  from  your  point  of  view,  how 
long  do  you  believe 

Mr.  Friesen.  Sir,  there  was  a  tremendous  time  dilation  under 
the  stressful  situation.  In  my  mind,  it  was  well  over  an  hour.  How- 
ever, thinking  back  on  that  logically,  it  could  not  have  lasted  more 
than  5  to  10  minutes. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Wessels,  shortly  after  the  attack,  you  in- 
dicated Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  approached  you  and  you  had  a 
conversation.  I  would  like  for  you  to  recount  that  in  as  much  detail 
as  you  can  as  to  the  substance  of  that  conversation. 

Mr.  Wessels.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  went  over  to  where  Corporal 
Fielder  was  killed  to  see  if  there  was  anything  in  the  area.  I  just 
kind  of  pushed  some  sand  away  and  I  noticed  that  he  had  a  cross 
and  a  crucifix  on  a  chain.  As  I  was  picking  that  up  to  bring  it  back, 
Colonel  Daly  stopped  me  and  asked  if  I  had  gone  to  West  Point  or 
if  I  had  gone  through  an  ROTC  program  at  college.  I  did  not  under- 
stand what  he  was  talking  about.  I  said,  well,  I  went  through  the 
ROTC  program,  sir.  And  then  he  asked  me,  "Well,  in  your  ROTC 
program,  did  they  ever  teach  you  about  the  fog  of  war?" 

Senator  Thompson.  The  fog  of  war? 

Mr.  Wessels.  The  fog  of  war,  yes,  Mr.  Chairman.  Again,  I  had 
no  response  for  what  he  had  said  and  I  said,  well,  of  course  they 
did,  sir.  I  felt  the  whole  conversation  was  so  bizarre,  like  he  was 
trying  to  say  that  it  was  not  his  fault  and  maybe  I  had  put  my  men 
in  danger  or  something  similar  to  that. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Friesen,  as  a  result  of  your  actions  that 
night,  you  received  a  letter  of  reprimand,  is  that  correct? 


27 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir.  I  received  that  letter  1  day  after  my  rebut- 
tal period  expired,  but  I  sent  a  response  anyway.  The  Army  just 
let  it  go  for  several  months  until  the  day  before  I  appeared  on 
"Good  Morning  America"  to  talk  about  this,  and  it  was  withdrawn 
in  a  matter  of  hours. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  the  day  before  you  appeared? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  day  before  these  events  seems  to  be  a 
popular  time  for  the  Army  to  take  action,  does  it  not? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Yes,  sir,  it  seems  that  way. 

Senator  Thompson.  All  right.  What  do  you  think  about  that  let- 
ter and  what  did  you  do  about  it? 

Mr.  Friesen.  Well,  sir,  I  feel  that  the  letter  was  totally  unjusti- 
fied. Even  though  I  feel  a  tremendous  amount  of  shame  over  what 
happened  and  I  wish  there  was  something  that  I  could  have  done 
to  prevent  it,  I  did  exercise  an  even  greater  amount  of  care  and  re- 
straint than  a  battlefield  commander  normally  would.  Under  the 
circumstances  I  was  in  and  the  lack  of  information  that  my  superi- 
ors provided  me  with,  I  felt  I  acted  properly. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  what  action  was  taken? 

Mr.  Friesen.  The  letter  was  withdrawn,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Wessels,  for  your  actions  that  night,  the  Army  sent  you  a  let- 
ter of  admonishment,  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Yes,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Obviously,  it  is  not  justified.  What  do  you 
think  about  it  and  what  did  you  do  about  it? 

Mr.  Wessels.  It  came  in  the  mail  in  my  unit  while  I  was  in  Ger- 
many. I  went  to  pick  it  up  and  I  opened  it  to  read  it  and  it  said 
specifically  that  I  was  being  charged  for  contributing  to  the  death 
of  Lance  Fielder.  I  did  not  know  what  to  say  about  it.  I  was  com- 
pletely shocked. 

I  went  immediately  to  my  commander.  We  both  reviewed  the  let- 
ter. It  said  nothing  about  how  I  could  respond  to  the  letter  or  if 
I  felt  it  were  appropriate  and  how  I  could  do  a  rebuttal.  We  went 
through  my  immediate  chain  of  command,  as  much  as  we  could, 
but  they  found  out  that  there  was  nothing  we  could  do.  Because 
there  was  no  way  for  me  to  rebut  it,  we  assumed  that  the  Army 
was  saying,  you  are  guilty  and  we  are  not  going  to  let  you  say  any- 
thing otherwise  and  you  must  accept  this. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  was  going  through  your  mind  as  you 
approached  the  American  forces  with  your  hands  over  your  head, 
after  just  receiving  these  bursts  of  fire  and  seeing  one  of  your  com- 
rades wounded  and  another  of  your  comrades  killed?  Did  you  fully 
expect  that  you  would  be  immediately  identified  as  American? 

Mr.  Wessels.  I  was  hoping,  Mr.  Chairman,  because  I  had  the 
red-lensed  flashlight,  that  that  would  be  enough  for  them  to  at 
least  say,  hey,  something  is  going  wrong  here.  This  person  has 
their  hands  over  their  head.  They  are  not  going  to  cause  any  threat 
to  us.  But  as  soon  as  I  noticed  that  they  had  the  50-caliber  ma- 
chine gun  pointed  at  me,  I  was  not  sure  if  I  was  going  to  make  my 
destination. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Did  you  keep  walking? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Yes,  I  did,  as  slowly  as  I  could. 


92-497  0-95-2 


28 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Mr.  Wessels,  I  can  only  say  that  your  receiv- 
ing an  admonishment  under  those  circumstances  is  an  absolute  dis- 
grace. We  cannot  do  anything  about  what  has  happened  in  the  past 
or  these  people  who  were  wounded  and  killed,  but  I  believe  we  can 
probably  have  some  influence  on  that,  and  I  can  assure  you  we  will 
do  everything  in  the  world  to  make  sure  that  that  disgraceful  ac- 
tion by  the  Army  is  rectified.  If  anybody  deserves  a  medal  from 
what  happened  out  there  that  night,  I  think  you  do  from  the  action 
that  you  took. 

Let  me  ask  this,  Mr.  Wessels:  Do  you  think  the  Army's  investiga- 
tion into  this  incident  was  fair  or  thorough? 

Mr.  Wessels.  No,  sir,  not  at  all.  I  had  an  opportunity  to  view 
some  of  the  AR  15-6  statements,  and  that  is  why  when  Brigadier 
General  Halley  called  me  and  asked  me  if  I  had  any  questions,  I 
brought  out  as  many  conflicts  that  I  had  found  with  the  statements 
and  found  with  the  findings,  to  point  those  out  for  them  to  inves- 
tigate those  further.  But,  as  I  said,  he  completely  disregarded  that 
and  then  just  hung  up  on  me. 

Senator  Thompson.  Were  you  ever  interviewed  as  such  by  the 
original  AR  15-6  investigating  officer? 

Mr.  WESSELS.  No,  Mr.  Chairman.  They  just  brought  the  blank 
AR  15-6  statements  down  and  said,  fill  this  out  to  the  best  of  your 
ability  and  then  turn  them  back  in.  All  the  other  subsequent  inter- 
views were  just  done  all  over  the  phone,  with  me  in  Germany  and 
the  investigating  team  in  the  United  States. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  you  ever  get  the  impression  that  any- 
body was  remotely  interested  in  what  actually  occurred  out  there 
that  night? 

Mr.  Wessels.  I  got  the  feeling  that  the  only  interest  they  had 
was  that  they  wanted  me  to  give  certain  specific  answers,  such  as 
I  was  not  aware  of  the  anti-fratricide  devices  and  so  forth,  so  they 
could 

Senator  Thompson.  In  other  words,  things  that  would  incrimi- 
nate yourself  in  some  way,  perhaps? 

Mr.  Wessels.  Exactly. 

Senator  Thompson.  When  did  you  really  have  the  opportunity  to 
tell  your  story  for  the  first  time? 

Mr.  WESSELS.  Aside  from  my  family,  they  were  really  the  only 
ones  who  would  listen  to  me  and  believed  me.  Finally,  when  I  was 
approached  by  Eric  Thorson  of  the  Subcommittee,  it  was  the  first 
time  I  ever  felt  that  anyone  in  the  United  States  was  on  my  side. 

Senator  Thompson.  Mr.  Friesen,  what  is  your  opinion  of  the 
Army's  investigation? 

Mr.  Friesen.  I  have  to  agree  with  Mr.  Wessels,  sir.  I  feel  that 
these  investigations  already  had  a  predetermined  outcome  and  the 
outcome  was  to  protect  and  absolve  the  leaders  responsible  for  this 
negligent  act.  The  investigation  simply  gathered  evidence  to  sup- 
port this  foregone  conclusion  and  just  ignored  all  the  glaring  incon- 
sistencies that  refuted  it. 

At  each  subsequent  investigation,  the  stakes  were  a  little  higher. 
They  sacrificed  a  few  lower-level  individuals,  such  as  Lieutenant 
Wessels  and  myself.  I  believe  that  was  an  attempt  to  placate  people 
in  authority  who  still  had  an  interest  in  the  truth  coming  out,  but 


29 

the  entire  series  of  investigations,  to  me,  had  the  appearance  of  a 
whitewash  or  a  coverup. 

Senator  Thompson.  Gentlemen,  thank  you  very  much.  Is  there 
anything  else  you  would  like  to  say?  Thank  you  very  much  for  com- 
ing here.  You  have  been  very  helpful.  I  cannot  tell  you  how  much 
I  appreciate  your  willingness  to  come  and  relate  the  facts,  espe- 
cially you,  Mr.  Friesen.  I  know  this  is  a  painful  ordeal.  Mr. 
Wessels,  obviously  what  you  went  through  is  a  very  painful  ordeal, 
but  it  is  young  men  and  women  like  you  who  make  this  country 
great,  make  our  Army  great,  make  our  military  forces  great,  and 
give  us  hope  for  the  future.  You  just  continue  to  have  faith  in  the 
system  and  do  the  right  thing  and  I  think  you  will  see  that  the 
right  thing  ultimately  will  be  done  in  response  to  your  actions. 

Thank  you  very  much  for  being  here  and  God  bless  you. 

Mr.  Wessels.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Friesen.  Thank  you,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Our  next  witnesses  will  be  Deborah  Shelton 
and  Ronald  Fielder,  the  parents  of  Army  Sergeant  Douglas  Lance 
Fielder,  who  was  killed  in  this  incident.  Ms.  Shelton  and  Mr.  Field- 
er, first  of  all,  I  want  to  convey  our  deepest  sympathy  for  the  loss 
that  you  have  suffered.  We  have  had  an  opportunity  to  discuss  this 
several  times  in  the  past,  and  I  know  that  this  is  perhaps  some- 
what the  end  of  a  long  road  for  you.  I  want  to  commend  you  for 
your  determination  and  your  persistence  for  this  search  for  the 
truth  and  what  happened  with  regard  to  this  tragedy. 

As  you  know,  we  swear  in  all  witnesses  before  this  Subcommit- 
tee, so  I  would  now  ask  you  to  both  rise  and  raise  your  right  hand. 

Do  you  swear  that  the  testimony  you  give  before  this  Subcommit- 
tee will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you,  God? 

Ms.  Shelton.  I  do. 

Mr.  Fielder.  I  do. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you. 

Ms.  Shelton,  do  you  have  a  statement  to  make? 

TESTIMONY  OF  DEBORAH  SHELTON  AND  RONALD  FDZLDER1 

Ms.  Shelton.  Yes,  sir,  I  do.  Good  morning,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  ex- 
tend to  you  my  appreciation  for  the  opportunity  to  speak  before 
your  Subcommittee  today.  Every  member  of  my  family  has  asked 
me  to  offer  you  a  heartfelt  thanks  for  your  support  and  service  to 
us.  Our  decision  to  accept  your  invitation  was,  in  part,  based  upon 
one  simple  principle  that  we  believe  is  vital  to  us  all.  Liberties 
wane,  while  we  in  silence  or  with  other  things  to  do,  ponder  what 
we  value  more  than  the  liberty  to  speak. 

I  consider  your  encouragement  to  provide  testimony  here  an  act 
of  good  faith  in  demonstrating  the  importance  of  a  Government 
willing  to  serve  all  people  and  ideas  of  merit.  Among  the  tradi- 
tional American  liberties  and  ideals  reside  honesty,  integrity,  and 
justice.  These  are  well-proven  tools  for  seeking  truth.  I  ask  you  to 
apply  them  with  skill  today,  not  to  understand  my  truth  but  to  find 
your  own  during  this  inquiry. 


^he  combined  prepared  statement  of  Ms.  Shelton  and  Mr.  Fielder  appears  on  page  78. 


30 

Our  son,  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder,  was  killed  in  action  by 
friendly  fire  while  serving  as  a  member  of  the  United  States  Army 
during  Operation  Desert  Storm.  From  the  very  moment  of  his 
death,  the  facts  surrounding  this  tragedy  were  known  accurately 
and  in  detail  to  all  involved  military  personnel. 

However,  what  I  have  learned  since  Lance's  death  is  that  any 
truth  related  to  the  matter  has  been  suppressed.  That  action  was 
adopted  by  consensus  and  endorsed  by  segments  within  the  Army 
officer  corps,  in  accordance  with  an  agreed  upon  plan. 

The  plan  was  simple.  It  contained  only  three  parts.  First,  lie 
about  how  Sergeant  Lance  Fielder  died.  Second,  enhance  the  basic 
lie  with  arrogant  bravado,  claiming  the  participants  in  this  action 
performed  heroic  feats.  And  finally,  use  the  lie  for  personal  gain  by 
awarding  medals  for  distinguished  service  under  fire  to  conspira- 
tors and/or  any  participants. 

On  Thursday,  February  28,  1991,  at  3  p.m.,  two  members  of  the 
Army's  notification  team  came  to  each  of  our  homes  simulta- 
neously. They  informed  us  that  Lance  had  been  killed  while  in 
combat  with  the  Iraqis  on  February  26,  1991.  On  the  following  Sat- 
urday, March  2,  1991,  we  each  received  a  Mailgram  from  the  Army 
that  read:  "This  Mailgram  is  to  confirm  to  you  that  your  son,  Spe- 
cialist Douglas  Lance  Fielder,  died  in  Iraq  on  26  February  1991,  as 
the  result  of  massive  chest  trauma,  due  to  multiple  gunshot 
wounds  received  while  engaging  the  enemy." 

We  buried  Lance  on  Friday,  March  8,  1991.  I  remember  standing 
at  the  cemetery  where  we  laid  him  to  rest,  thinking  about  my  son 
and  the  others  buried  in  that  place.  I  thought  about  how  we  try 
to  honor  our  fallen  soldiers  and  how  small  a  piece  of  ground  they 
each  receive  in  death.  At  that  moment,  the  funeral  service  and  the 
small  piece  of  ground  did  not  seem  to  be  enough  for  Lance  or  for 
any  of  the  others  who  had  given  their  lives  for  their  country. 

Mr.  Fielder.  Several  weeks  after  Lance's  funeral,  I  received  a 
phone  call  at  3  a.m.  on  May  2,  1991.  The  voice  on  the  other  line 
said,  "This  is  Specialist  Mark  Norwood.  I  served  in  the  Army  with 
Lance.  I  was  a  friend  of  his  and  I  am  in  Saudi  Arabia  now.  The 
Army  is  lying  to  you.  Lance  was  killed  by  an  American  unit.  I  can- 
not talk  any  longer  right  now,  but  when  I  come  home  I  am  going 
to  tell  you  everything  that  really  happened." 

The  phone  rang  again  about  an  hour  later.  This  time,  it  was  a 
Captain  Bowser,  who  was  Specialist  Norwood's  commander.  Cap- 
tain Bowser  told  me  that  Lance  had  been  killed  by  an  attacking 
American  unit.  He  also  told  me  that  Lance  would  be  receiving  the 
Bronze  Star  with  "V"  device  for  valor. 

During  each  of  these  calls,  I  was  in  shock.  I  could  not  think  of 
any  questions  to  ask,  and  it  was  difficult  for  me  to  comprehend 
what  I  was  being  told.  American  soldiers  had  killed  my  son,  but  my 
country  had  already  told  me  that  Iraqis  had  done  it. 

These  calls,  which  came  in  the  middle  of  the  night  from  my  son's 
colleagues,  were  the  only  accurate  notification,  if  it  can  be  called 
that,  that  Deborah  and  I  would  receive  for  many  months.  The 
Army  did  not  provide  us  with  official  notification  until  August  of 
1991,  more  than  3  months  after  Lance's  colleagues  had  called  and 
told  me  the  truth.  Waiting  3  months  to  hear  something  from  the 
Army  would  prove  difficult. 


31 

Shortly  after  I  received  the  calls,  I  telephoned  Deborah  and  ex- 
plained what  I  had  learned  from  Lance's  friends.  Our  discovery 
that  Lance  had  been  killed  by  an  American  force  caught  us  com- 
pletely off  guard.  As  we  would  learn,  to  our  sorrow,  we  were  about 
to  begin  a  process  of  grief  and  pain  all  over  again.  However,  this 
time,  the  fact  of  Lance's  death  came  to  us  under  a  painful  shroud 
of  deceit. 

I  recall  a  conversation  I  had  with  Specialist  Ted  Lane,  the 
Army's  official  escort,  that  took  place  on  March  7,  1991,  the  day  be- 
fore we  buried  Lance.  When  I  asked  him  the  circumstances  of  my 
son's  death,  Lane  told  us  he  did  not  know.  During  a  later  visit  by 
Lane,  we  would  find  out  that  this  was  not  true.  Ted  Lane  had 
known  all  along  what  the  truth  was  but  he  had  been  instructed  not 
to  discuss  Lance's  death  with  us  or  to  volunteer  any  information 
of  consequence. 

For  more  than  3  months  after  we  first  received  the  horrifying 
news  from  the  soldiers  in  Lance's  unit,  we  heard  absolutely  nothing 
from  the  Army  about  what  happened,  absolutely  nothing.  You  can- 
not imagine  how  unnerving  it  is  to  be  first  told  your  son  died  at 
the  hands  of  the  enemy,  then  to  be  told  off  the  record  that  he  was 
killed  by  an  American,  and  then  to  be  told  nothing. 

The  Army  eventually  decided  to  give  us  official  notification  about 
the  cause  of  Lance's  death.  The  Army  called  and  told  each  of  us 
that  papers  would  be  delivered  at  exactly  3  p.m.  on  August  12, 
1991.  We  were  each  given  a  copy  of  the  same  letter  and  asked  to 
sign  for  it. 

The  letter  read,  in  part:  "Armored  vehicles  from  another  U.S. 
force  strayed  into  your  son's  area.  The  soldiers  in  these  vehicles 
mistakenly  identified  Lance's  vehicle  as  hostile.  They  fired  shots, 
wounding  one  of  the  other  soldiers.  The  soldiers  with  Lance  dis- 
mounted their  vehicles  and  formed  a  hasty  defensive  position, 
while  Lance  attended  to  the  wounded  soldier.  As  Lance  was  per- 
forming first  aid,  a  second  round  of  machine  gun  fire  wounded  him. 
Lance  died  bravely,  giving  aid  to  a  fellow  soldier  in  the  thick  of  bat- 
tle, selflessly  serving  his  country." 

Ms.  Shelton.  The  delivery  of  the  notification  letter  was  unusual 
and  it  caught  our  attention  immediately.  We  were  told  that  the 
timing  for  the  receipt  of  the  letter  was  critical.  This  was  stressed 
repeatedly  as  an  important  and  vital  element.  Later,  we  discovered 
that  we  were  only  one  of  a  large  number  of  American  families  who 
unknowingly  participated  in  a  well-orchestrated  event. 

The  Army  had  decided,  at  one  time,  on  1  day,  to  inform  all  the 
families  whose  loved  ones  had  been  killed  by  friendly  fire  of  the 
real  cause  of  their  deaths.  Thus,  we  were  only  one  of  many  families 
across  the  country  who  were  told  at  exactly  3  p.m.  on  August  12, 
1991,  that  their  loved  one  had  been  killed  by  friendly  fire. 

On  that  day,  Army  personnel  fanned  out  across  the  country  with 
military  precision,  executing  the  Army's  notification  plan  by  break- 
ing the  bad  news  to  everyone  in  unison,  months  after  the  war  had 
ended.  The  Army's  tactic  was  to  overwhelm  the  media  with  the 
magnitude  of  the  event  itself  while  masking  the  real  significance 
of  the  unusually  large  number  of  American  deaths  by  friendly  fire. 

Death  by  friendly  fire  is  a  very  sensitive  subject.  It  had  to  be 
handled  with  great  skill.  If  the  Army  had  informed  the  families  of 


32 

the  friendly  fire  victims  of  the  cause  of  death  in  each  case  as  soon 
as  possible,  this  would  have  created  a  long  string  of  shocking  dis- 
closures over  an  extended  period  of  time  and  that  would  have 
harmed  the  Army,  because  as  long  as  the  story  circulated  in  the 
press,  reporters  were  going  to  be  asking  questions. 

From  a  military  standpoint,  the  story  was  big,  the  news  was  bad, 
and  a  negative  impact  in  the  media  was  certain.  Since  so  many 
Americans  were  killed  by  other  Americans  in  Desert  Storm,  the 
truth  of  the  fact  could  not  be  hidden  or  avoided.  The  strategy  re- 
quired accepting  one  big  negative  hit  in  the  press,  then  letting  the 
story  die.  By  speaking  at  the  same  time  to  each  family  victimized 
by  friendly  fire,  the  military  limited  to  the  greatest  extent  possible 
the  envisioned  outrage  by  the  media.  Duping  the  media  was  vital. 

We  knew  there  was  nothing  that  would  bring  back  our  son,  but 
at  the  same  time,  we  were  forced  to  face  certain  realities.  How  was 
Lance  killed  by  Americans?  Why  did  the  U.S.  Army  elect  to  lie  to 
our  family?  Did  they  have  something  to  hide?  If  that  were  true, 
what  were  they  attempting  to  conceal? 

Making  some  notes  on  what  was  known  to  us  at  the  time  helped 
me  focus  on  three  very  important  issues.  Why  were  Lance  and  a 
handful  of  men  left  alone  in  the  desert  in  the  first  place?  What 
really  took  place  out  there,  and  how  could  American  forces  attack 
and  kill  other  Americans?  Exactly  what  did  happen  to  my  son  from 
the  time  he  died  until  he  came  home? 

It  was  clear  to  Ron  and  to  me  that  no  amount  of  agonizing  would 
get  us  the  truth.  I  knew  that,  for  myself,  there  would  never  be  an 
end  to  the  anguish  until  our  family  had  the  complete  truth.  I  made 
up  my  mind  to  look  for  the  truth  until  I  found  it. 

I  began  calling  and  meeting  with  people,  requesting  Government 
documents,  and  writing  letters.  Over  the  last  4  years,  I  have  placed 
more  phone  calls,  written  more  letters,  filed  more  Freedom  of  Infor- 
mation Act  requests,  and  contacted  more  people  than  I  could  pos- 
sibly count  for  you  today.  The  search  for  the  truth  has  been  a 
heartbreaking  4-year  journey  through  thickets  of  deceit,  delay,  bu- 
reaucratic incompetence,  and  callousness. 

I  began  to  consider  how  many  people  it  takes  to  tell  a  really  big 
lie,  and  today,  I  still  do  not  know.  However,  I  do  know  it  only  takes 
one  to  initiate  that  process.  It  would  take  some  time  for  me  to 
learn  that  the  dishonesty  for  this  situation  began  in  the  desert,  a 
long  way  from  where  I  stood.  Yet,  it  did  not  stop  there  but  moved 
instead  with  remarkable  swiftness  to  savage  our  family.  This  same 
dishonesty  gained  strength  with  assistance  from  those  who,  in 
time,  would  elect  to  lie,  obstructing  the  truth  and  also  to  protect 
themselves. 

I  soon  discovered  that  our  quest  for  the  truth  would  require  pa- 
tience, diligence,  and  common  sense.  Patience  has  never  been  my 
virtue.  However,  with  enough  determination,  I  thought  I  would 
make  up  for  that  shortcoming  in  other  ways. 

As  this  Senate  Subcommittee  receives  testimony  from  the  wit- 
nesses here  today,  there  is  no  doubt  that  many  lingering  questions 
remain.  For  example,  did  the  commanders  involved  benefit  from 
the  tragedy  by  sending  our  son  home  a  hero?  Did  the  risk  involved 
in  deceiving  us  initially  about  the  cause  of  our  son's  death  appear 
acceptable  to  the  people  involved?  What  happened  to  the  original 


33 

battlefield  paperwork  and  other  documents  that  disclosed  the  evi- 
dence of  friendly  fire? 

Were  awards  given  or  forced  upon  soldiers  to  keep  them  silent 
about  the  true  facts  surrounding  Lance's  death?  Is  there  a  direct, 
viable,  and  recognized  relationship  between  the  award  for  valor  on 
the  battlefield  and  military  promotions? 

Did  one  or  more  commanders  involved  in  this  friendly  fire  trag- 
edy relinquish  command  by  becoming  directly  involved  in  the  at- 
tack? Did  a  heated  argument,  which  verged  on  physical  violence, 
occur  at  Colonel  Starr's  Command  Headquarters  immediately  after 
the  incident?  Was  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  responsible  for  the  ac- 
tions of  his  gunner?  Why  does  the  U.S.  military  not  provide  to  the 
families  of  friendly  fire  victims  full  disclosure  of  its  investigations? 

Mr.  Fielder.  On  January  25,  1992,  Colonel  Waller  from  the 
Army  Inspector  General's  office  came  to  Nashville  to  tell  us  about 
the  Army  investigation  into  the  reasons  why  we  had  received  erro- 
neous notification  about  Lance's  death.  Colonel  Waller  began  the 
meeting  by  telling  us,  "Well,  Murphy  is  alive  and  well."  The  first 
thing  that  flashed  into  my  mind  was,  it  is  too  bad  my  son  is  not. 
We  were  stunned  by  his  comment.  He  continued,  saying,  "To 
compound  a  comedy  of  errors,  who  would  have  ever  believed  that 
the  one  soldier  this  happened  to  would  also  be  the  one  whose  moth- 
er spent  3  weeks  with  him  in  Germany  and  these  soldiers  think 
she  is  their  mother,  too."  We  just  listened. 

It  is  our  opinion  that  Colonel  Waller  began  his  investigation  with 
a  predetermined  conclusion,  which  Deborah  feared  would  lead  him 
to  ignore  the  most  troubling  aspects  of  the  notification  issue.  For 
example,  Colonel  Waller  seemed  to  discount  completely  the  testi- 
mony of  a  soldier  who  pinned  a  death  tag  on  Lance's  uniform  just 
before  Lance  was  evacuated. 

That  tag,  which  listed  the  cause  of  Lance's  death  as  friendly  fire, 
was  missing  when  Lance's  body  arrived  at  the  MASH  unit,  where, 
with  no  information  to  the  contrary,  Lance  was  mistakenly  listed 
as  "Killed  in  Action"  by  Iraqi  troops.  The  disappearance  of  the  tag 
is  apparently  the  reason  why  we  were  kept  in  the  dark  for  so  many 
months  about  the  real  cause  of  Lance's  death. 

On  April  20,  1992,  we  received  a  copy  of  the  Army  Inspector  Gen- 
eral's written  report  on  the  investigation  of  the  notification  issue. 
The  report  dealt  in  detail  with  the  mechanics  of  the  notification 
process,  the  shapes  and  sizes  of  various  Army  forms,  but  it  only 
glossed  over  the  facts  surrounding  what  really  happened  the  night 
Lance  was  killed. 

Our  fears  were  confirmed.  Colonel  Waller's  report  did  not  re- 
motely resemble  the  verbal  briefing  that  we  had  previously  re- 
ceived from  him.  The  Inspector  General's  report  was  convoluted 
and  misleading,  but  above  all,  it  seemed  to  confirm  Colonel 
Waller's  predetermined  conclusions. 

Ms.  SHELTON.  Then  and  there,  for  the  first  time,  I  really  began 
to  understand  the  rules  of  engagement  in  the  truest  sense  of  the 
term.  We  were  dismayed  by  the  Inspector  General's  report  but  de- 
cided to  press  forward  to  find  out  what  really  happened  to  our  son. 
We  had  concluded  by  this  time  that  the  Army  was  completely  un- 
willing to  help  us  discover  the  truth  about  our  son's  death. 


34 

For  example,  I  called  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  who  signed  sev- 
eral reprimands  that  the  Army  gave  after  Lance's  death,  to  inquire 
about  the  reprimands.  A  representative  from  General  Burba's  office 
called  me  back  and  said,  "Quite  frankly,  madam,  this  is  a  military 
matter  and  none  of  your  concern." 

We  got  an  appointment  at  Senator  Sasser's  office  in  Washington 
with  the  intent  of  requesting  a  GAO  investigation  into  Lance's 
death  and  also  the  process  of  the  entire  investigation.  In  late  April 
1992,  Ron  and  I  traveled  to  Washington  to  meet  with  some  of  Sen- 
ator Sasser's  staff.  After  presenting  our  scenario  and  summary  of 
the  Inspector  General's  report  and  dealings  to  date  with  the  Army, 
Senator  Sasser  asked  the  GAO  to  review  the  case  to  see  if  any  in- 
vestigation would  be  warranted.  This  was  early  in  June  of  1992. 

On  November  2,  1992,  we  found  out  that  the  GAO  does,  in  fact, 
agree  with  us  and  sees  clear  need  for  an  investigation.  We  were 
told  that  the  GAO  would  begin  its  work  in  January  of  1993.  We 
later  learned  that  the  Army,  through  General  Griffith,  who  was  the 
IG  at  the  time,  worked  behind  the  scenes  to  hold  up  the  investiga- 
tion by  persuading  Senator  Sasser's  office  that  he  wanted  to  speak 
to  us  in  person  before  the  investigation  started,  but  then  never  call- 
ing us.  General  Griffith  caused  the  GAO  to  delay  its  work  for  near- 
ly 2  more  months. 

When  Senator  Sasser  was  defeated,  it  became  obvious  to  us  we 
needed  another  Senator  to  take  up  our  cause  and  push  for  the  pub- 
lication of  the  GAO  report.  We  appreciate  more  than  words  can  say 
the  able  assistance  of  you,  Senator  Thompson.  You  have  carried 
our  cause  forward.  We  know  that  our  State  is  truly  fortunate  to 
have  you.  The  voters  from  Tennessee  chose  well  and  our  families 
thank  you  from  the  bottom  of  our  hearts. 

On  April  22,  1994,  the  GAO  completed  its  investigation  and  we 
received  a  briefing.  We  learned  then  for  the  first  time  about  the 
medals  for  valor  that  had  been  awarded  to  those  who  were  involved 
in  the  attack  on  Lance's  unit.  We  also  learned  of  the  GAO's  conclu- 
sion that  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly,  the  commander  of  the  unit  that 
attacked  Lance,  failed  to  maintain  adequate  command  and  control 
over  his  squadron. 

The  GAO  further  concluded  that  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  broke 
the  rules  of  engagement  that  evening  by  firing  at  an  unidentified 
target  that  was  not  firing  back,  and  that  Daly  knew  and  failed  to 
tell  his  soldiers  that  there  might  be  other  Americans  in  the  area. 

The  GAO  also  discovered  that  in  the  moments  just  before  the  at- 
tack, a  soldier  heard  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  report  to  his  com- 
mander that  Daly  saw  an  American-made  vehicle  but  identified  it 
as  an  Iraqi.  These  findings  confirmed  what  we  have  believed  for  a 
long  time.  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  Daly's  negligence  led  directly 
to  the  death  of  our  son. 

Mr.  Fielder.  I  am  a  police  sergeant  in  Nashville,  TN.  As  such, 
I  know  the  responsibility  that  goes  with  discharging  a  weapon  in 
the  line  of  duty.  Military  forces  who  kill  the  enemy  are  one  of  two 
things,  disciplined  and  courageous  or  undisciplined  and  dangerous. 
In  my  opinion,  the  factors  critical  in  making  this  distinction  are 
leadership  and  the  ability  to  command.  Within  the  scope  of  Amer- 
ican justice  and  law  enforcement,  we  have  specific  guidelines, 
which  include  accountability  to  the  citizens  of  America. 


35 

In  my  capacity  as  the  entry  leader  on  the  SWAT  team  in  Nash- 
ville, TN,  if  I  displayed  such  use  of  force  in  a  similar  situation, 
went  to  the  wrong  address,  violated  rules  of  engagement,  shot  an 
unidentified  person  and  killed  him,  the  consequences  for  such  ac- 
tions would  be  swift.  I  can  assure  you  there  would  be  neither  a 
medal  nor  a  promotion. 

I  would  immediately  be  fired,  charged  with  either  manslaughter 
or  second  degree  murder,  and  made  to  stand  accountable.  Failure 
for  the  Metropolitan  Police  Department  to  dismiss  me  immediately 
under  such  circumstances  would  undoubtably  result  in  a  guilty  ver- 
dict against  the  city  for  negligent  retention. 

Some  may  think  that  Deborah  and  I  hate  the  United  States 
Army  and  that  our  hatred  for  that  institution  has  been  our  motiva- 
tion. Nothing  can  be  further  from  the  truth.  We  cannot  hate  the 
Army.  If  we  did,  it  would  be  like  hating  Lance,  because  he  loved 
being  a  part  of  the  Army  so  much.  There  has  never  been  a  soldier 
who  was  more  proud  of  wearing  the  Army  uniform. 

On  the  contrary,  we  care  so  much  about  the  Army  that  we  have 
spent  the  last  4  years  trying  to  help  it  realize  the  loss  of  integrity 
displayed  in  this  matter.  As  a  wise  man  said  in  reference  to  this 
case,  "This  lie  has  done  more  harm  to  the  military  than  a  thousand 
truths  would  have  done."  Accountability  and  integrity  in  our  mili- 
tary must  be  restored. 

Ms.  Shelton.  The  GAO  discovered  that  soldiers  in  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly's  unit  received  valorous  awards  for  the  attack  and 
that  those  awards  were  based  on  misstatements  and  misrepresen- 
tations. In  April  1994,  the  GAO  briefed  the  Army  in  detail  about 
those  improper  awards  and  lies  that  supported  them.  The  Army's 
response  to  the  briefing  typifies  everything  the  Army  has  done  in 
this  case.  First,  the  Army  sat  on  the  information  for  a  year  and 
only  took  action  1  day  before  the  GAO's  final  report  was  released 
in  the  spring  of  1995.  The  timing  of  the  Army's  action  cannot  be 
a  coincidence. 

Second,  when  the  Army  finally  rescinded  the  Bronze  Stars  with 
"V"  devices  that  were  awarded  to  the  soldiers  in  Lieutenant  Colo- 
nel Daly's  unit,  it  simultaneously  reissued  Bronze  Stars  and  Army 
Commendation  Medals  for  Merit  to  those  same  soldiers.  This  says 
that  although  we  no  longer  think  killing  your  son  is  a  valorous  act, 
it  was  a  meritorious  one. 

This  is  appalling.  It  nauseates  me  to  know  that  American  sol- 
diers would  accept  an  award  for  valor  based  on  a  lie.  Failure  to  ac- 
cept responsibility  is  cowardice,  and  turning  that  failure  into  a  ca- 
reer-enhancing event  is  an  unspeakable  act.  As  such,  it  tarnishes 
the  honor  of  every  brave  soul  who  ever  risked  death  by  fighting  for 
his  or  her  country.  It  also  breaks  the  hearts  of  those  who  love 
America.  But  we  know  brave  hearts  do  prevail. 

I  understand  lies,  regrets,  and  mistakes.  Having  worked  to  find 
the  truth  in  this  tragedy,  I  have  also  learned  to  recognize  deceit  for 
personal  gain,  military  commanders  who  do  not  command,  and 
those  who  have  no  honor. 

If  Lance  were  alive  today,  he  would  understand  the  importance 
of  preserving  the  meaning  and  integrity  of  awards  for  heroism  in 
combat.  Until  the  GAO  report,  we  did  not  know  a  requirement  for 
the  "V"  device  is  that  the  recipient  be  engaged  with  the  enemy. 


36 

Mr.  Fielder.  Lance  was  an  honorable  person,  and  accepting  an 
award  he  was  not  eligible  for  would  have  offended  his  sense  of 
honor.  Therefore,  we  now  return  to  the  Army  his  Bronze  Star 
medal  with  "V"  device  and  the  commendation  we  received  on  his 
behalf.  All  we  ask  from  the  Army  is  that  it  correct  Lance's  head- 
stone to  reflect  the  fact  that  Lance  did  not  receive  this  medal. 

Mr.  Chairman,  this  concludes  our  statement. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you  very  much,  Ms.  Shelton,  Mr. 
Fielder. 

I  have  a  lot  of  questions  here,  but  I  somehow  do  not  even  feel 
like  they  would  be  appropriate  under  the  circumstances.  You  have 
covered  everything.  You  have  stated  what  has  occurred  and  you 
have  stated  what  you  think  about  what  has  occurred.  It  is  time  you 
had  the  opportunity  to  express  to  us  and  to  the  Army  and  to  the 
Nation  exactly  how  you  feel  about  this  and  exactly  what  happened. 

You  have  suffered  a  tremendous  loss.  You  share  that  with  many, 
many  other  people  who  have  suffered  similar  losses,  children  in 
conflict  and  combat.  But  I  think  you  also  represent  all  those  people, 
all  those  people  not  only  who  have  suffered  losses  in  so-called 
friendly  fire  situations  but  those  who  will  in  the  future  suffer  losses 
of  loved  ones,  and  those  who  have  and  will  receive  medals  meritori- 
ously for  good  reason. 

We  owe  it  to  them  to  make  sure  that  when  young  people  do  die 
for  their  country,  that  their  parents  and  loved  ones  have  some  con- 
fidence in  what  they  are  told,  and  that  when  brave  people  receive 
medals,  that  we  have  confidence  as  a  country  that  those  medals  are 
meritorious,  as  practically  all  of  them  certainly  are. 

So  you  represent  a  lot  of  people,  and  your  diligence,  your  persist- 
ence in  this  matter  is  what  really  caused  these  hearings  to  come 
about  and  for  the  truth  to  finally  come  out.  As  you  have  said  in 
our  conversations  from  the  very  beginning,  your  purpose  in  this 
was  not  to  get  back  at  anybody,  because  the  past  cannot  be 
changed,  but  that,  hopefully,  this  will  cause  procedures  to  change 
and  this  will  make  it  less  likely  for  tragedies  like  this  to  happen 
again.  So  by  this,  perhaps  we  can  spare  some  people  and  some  par- 
ents in  the  future  from  what  you  have  had  to  go  through,  and  I 
commend  you  for  that. 

I  would  just  ask  you  if  you  have  any  other  thoughts.  We  can  be 
somewhat  informal  here.  We  do  not  have  to  read  prepared  state- 
ments all  the  time. 

Mr.  Fielder,  of  course,  is  a  very  well-regarded  member  of  the  po- 
lice force  there  in  Nashville.  You  have  drawn  an  apt  analogy,  I 
think,  as  to  what  would  happen  to  you  under  similar  circumstances 
and  the  kind  of  judgment  that  was  exercised  here. 

Ms.  Shelton,  you  have  really  carried  the  ball  on  this  for  so  long. 
I  know  the  burden  that  you  have  carried. 

Anything  additionally  that  either  one  of  you  would  like  to  say 
concerning  what  happened  or  what  you  would  like  to  see  in  the  fu- 
ture would  certainly  be  welcomed. 

Ms.  Shelton.  I  think  I  said  everything  in  my  statement.  Thank 
you,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Mr.  Fielder? 

Mr.  Fielder.  No,  sir,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  have  said  all  I  can. 


37 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you  very  much  for  your  testimony. 

Our  next  witness  will  be  Army  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly, 
Jr.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  was  involved  in  this  friendly  fire  as 
the  Commanding  Officer  of  the  3rd  Squadron  of  the  3rd  Armored 
Cavalry  Regiment. 

Colonel  Daly,  do  you  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  be- 
fore this  Subcommittee  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you,  God? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  do,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you.  Be  seated.  Do  you  have  a  state- 
ment to  make,  Colonel  Daly? 

TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  JR.,1 
UNITED  STATES  ARMY;  ACCOMPANIED  BY  LIEUTENANT 
COLONEL  JAMES  P.  GERSTENLAUER,  REGIONAL  DEFENSE 
COUNSEL,  UNITED  STATES  ARMY  TRIAL  DEFENSE  SERVICE 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  I  do.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Chairman,  Members  of  the  Committee,  thank  you  for  this 
opportunity  to  present  my  testimony  before  this  Committee.  I  hope 
that  my  comments  and  responses  to  your  questions  will  assist  you 
in  your  task  of  understanding  what  happened  in  the  Iraqi  desert 
4V2  years  ago. 

Sir,  this  is  the  first  time  I  have  been  able  to  address  Sergeant 
Fielder's  family  publicly.  I  want  the  Fielder  family  to  know  that  I 
share  their  loss.  From  the  moment  of  Sergeant  Fielder's  death, 
they  have  been  in  my  thoughts  and  prayers.  While  confusion  is 
normal  in  combat,  the  tragic  combination  of  events  in  February 
1991,  resulting  in  the  loss  of  their  son,  is  not  something  I  take 
lightly.  I  want  them  to  know  that  I  share  their  sorrow  and  pain. 
I  wish  they  could  understand  how  abhorrent  I  find  that  my  actions 
and  those  of  my  subordinates  have  resulted  in  the  death  of  a  fellow 
soldier. 

Ms.  Shelton,  in  an  anguished  letter  to  me,  expressed  her  hope 
that  I  shared  the  hell  she  is  going  through.  I  want  her  to  know  that 
I  empathized  with  her  when  she  wrote,  "If  there  is  a  God,  and  I 
believe  there  is,  I  must  trust  him  to  make  your  journey  for  peace 
as  difficult  as  mine." 

She  should  know  that  my  journey  has  also  been  a  difficult  one. 
No  grief  is  as  great  as  a  mother's  grief,  and  I  do  not  presume  to 
compare  mine  with  hers.  However,  I  do  think  of  their  anguish  and 
pain  daily.  Any  semblance  of  normalcy  in  my  life  is  and  will  always 
be  overshadowed  by  this  loss. 

I  have  both  a  son  and  a  daughter  and  I  can  only  barely  imagine 
her  tremendous  sense  of  loss.  I  believe  there  is  a  God,  and  although 
I  do  not  believe  He  is  vengeful,  I  do  believe  He  gave  me  the  con- 
science which  has  reminded  me  every  waking  minute  of  my  part 
in  this  tragedy. 

I  have  been  asked  repeatedly  why  I  have  not  contacted  Sergeant 
Fielder's  family  to  express  my  feelings.  My  lack  of  direct  commu- 
nication has  been  offered  by  some  as  evidence  to  support  a  mali- 
cious point  of  view  or  other  broad  implication,  and  I  reject  such 
conjecture  outright. 


1  The  prepared  statement  of  Lt.  Col.  Daly  appears  on  page  82. 


38 

I  continue  to  believe  that,  absent  some  conclusive  resolution  of 
this  matter,  any  comment  by  me  would  have  been  taken  as  a  shal- 
low attempt  to  deflect  criticism  and  I  have  hoped  to  avoid  such  an 
interpretation.  I  hoped  to  contact  Sergeant  Fielder's  family  when 
an  investigation  into  this  accident  had  been  concluded,  but  numer- 
ous investigations  have  never  ended. 

The  first  issue  I  understand  this  Committee  is  addressing  is  gov- 
ernmental accountability.  I  would  like  to  address  my  own  account- 
ability in  this  case.  I,  long  ago,  accepted  the  responsibilities  of  com- 
mand. When  this  incident  occurred,  I  offered  to  step  down  on  the 
spot.  My  commander  rejected  this,  as  he  viewed  I  had  a  higher  re- 
sponsibility to  the  1,000  men  I  was  leading. 

As  I  said  in  my  letter  to  the  Forces  Command  Commander,  I  un- 
derstand that  a  commander  is  responsible  for  everything  his  unit 
does  or  fails  to  do.  I  have  not  attempted  to  escape  those  respon- 
sibilities. Rather,  I  asked  then  and  ask  now  that  my  actions  be 
judged  in  light  of  the  facts  and  circumstances  as  we  knew  them  at 
the  time. 

From  the  beginning,  I  have  been  forthcoming.  I  freely  gave  my 
open  and  honest  assessments,  without  requesting  an  attorney.  I 
provided  hundreds  of  pages  of  testimony  and  I  took  responsibility 
for  my  actions.  I  encouraged  openness  from  my  subordinates  in  the 
belief  that  truth  is  the  right  policy.  I  have  been  reprimanded,  and 
this  reprimand  is  publicly  known  and  known  throughout  the  Army 
and  throughout  my  profession. 

Sir,  much  has  been  said  about  my  family  and  that  I  am  a  son- 
in-law  of  a  former  Chief  of  Staff  of  the  Army,  and  because  of  that 
I  have  somehow  received  special  treatment.  Nothing  could  be  fur- 
ther from  the  truth.  I  had  always  believed  that  the  Army  would 
have  the  courage  to  treat  members  in  my  situation  fairly  and  with 
dignity,  regardless  of  their  family  or  political  associations. 

My  father-in-law  has  done  nothing  to  help  me  or  influence  this 
matter.  He  has  been  dead  21  years  and  I  never  even  met  him.  He 
died  7  years  before  his  daughter  and  I  were  married  and  3  years 
before  I  met  my  wife's  brother.  For  some  reason,  unbeknownst  to 
me,  armchair  critics  have  found  it  unusual  or  remarkable  that  a 
man  and  a  woman  who  grew  up  in  similar  circumstances  would  be 
attracted  to  each  other,  fall  in  love,  and  marry. 

It  is  true  that  I  am  proud  of  the  service  my  family  rendered  to 
our  Nation.  My  father  was  a  General  Officer,  and  he  is  also  long 
dead.  I  make  no  apologies  for  being  born  into  this  family;  none 
should  be  expected  and  the  matter  is  not  germane  to  this  inquiry. 

It  has  been  said  that  I  am  in  a  career-enhancing  duty  position 
in  the  Pentagon,  and  this  is  cited  as  proof  of  special  treatment.  The 
truth  is  much  different.  I  have  been  at  the  same  desk  for  the  past 
3  years,  performing  the  same  level  of  work  as  a  research  assistant. 
Although  selection  boards  have  repeatedly  and  consistently  rec- 
ommended me  for  promotion  and  schooling,  this  promotion  has 
been  blocked  by  the  Department  of  Defense  with  only  the  most  cur- 
sory explanation.  The  truth  is,  I  am  in  sort  of  a  military  purgatory. 
I  have  been  told  unofficially  that  I  am  an  expendable  political  li- 
ability. 

My  part  in  the  Gulf  War  was  to  command  more  than  1,000  sol- 
diers in  40  tanks,  45  Bradley  fighting  vehicles,  and  six  self-pro- 


39 

pelled  Howitzers.  When  we  began  combat  operations,  everyone 
fully  expected  to  encounter  a  determined  enemy,  and  we  antici- 
pated a  large  number  of  casualties.  I  expected  that  I  would  not  sur- 
vive because  of  the  demand  placed  upon  leaders  in  high-risk,  high- 
intensity  cavalry  operations.  I  had  put  my  affairs  in  order  and  pre- 
pared my  wife  for  this  eventuality.  It  is  not  possible  for  me  to  de- 
scribe this  further. 

Shortly  before  or  after  midnight  on  February  27,  1991,  I  was  or- 
dered to  conduct  a  passage  of  lines,  one  of  the  most  difficult  and 
dangerous  of  all  combat  operations.  It  was  dark,  rainy,  and  cold, 
then  dusty  and  clear.  I  was  then  ordered  to  wheel  my  squadron 
and  radically  change  direction  under  the  direct  fire  weapons  of  an- 
other squadron  to  attack  and  seize  an  airfield.  Our  maps  were  out 
of  date,  and  even  if  they  had  been  current,  sheet  after  sheet  would 
have  shown  little  more  than  featureless  flat  desert.  Command  and 
control  is  an  imperfect  art  under  the  best  of  circumstances.  It  is 
hardly  a  science. 

I  applaud  the  General  Accounting  Office  for  their  precision  in 
documenting  an  incident  which  lasted  minutes  and  occurred  more 
than  4V2  years  ago  and  for  which  there  are  no  records  other  than 
those  in  the  memories  of  the  soldiers  present. 

The  GAO  describes  the  situation  with  a  clarity  which  is,  sadly, 
never  characteristic  of  combat  operations.  The  GAO  describes  the 
complexity  of  combat  operations  as  if  they  were  simple  stage  per- 
formances involving  a  few  well-choreographed  characters.  The  GAO 
presents  a  report  which  appears  to  be  practically  god-like.  Sir,  it 
is  not. 

We  may  discuss  from  the  comfort  of  this  room  the  precision  of 
GPS  coordinates  and  unit  boundaries,  but  they  are  not  written  on 
the  desert  floor.  There  are  no  lighted  markers  or  street  signs,  no 
AWACS  or  electronic  displays  of  where  everyone  is.  The  Army  gave 
Sergeant  Fielder's  unit  a  light  bulb  taped  inside  a  Coke  can,  visible 
only  through  night  vision  sights,  as  a  friendly  identification  device. 

I  was  responsible  for  more  than  1,000  men  who  were  spread 
across  miles  of  desert  in  combat.  I  did  what  I  thought  was  best  to 
protect  those  men  with  the  information  I  had.  We  made  a  tragic 
error  and  I  am  eternally  sorry. 

Mr.  Chairman,  this  concludes  my  remarks  and  I  am  prepared  to 
answer  your  questions. 

Senator  Thompson.  Colonel  Daly,  where  are  you  presently  as- 
signed? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  am  assigned  to  the  Pentagon  in  the  Office 
of  the  Deputy  Chief  of  Staff  for  Operations  and  Plans.  I  am  in  the 
Training  Directorate. 

Senator  Thompson.  Are  you  currently  on  a  promotion  list  to  the 
grade  of  full  Colonel? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  I  am. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(a)] 

Senator  Thompson.  Was  the  attack  on  Sergeant  Fielder's  unit 
the  only  combat  that  you  personally  participated  in  during  the  Per- 
sian Gulf  War? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  When  you  were  briefed  in  preparation  for 
the  attack  on  the  airfield,  the  investigation  revealed  that  you  were 


40 

told  about  the  possible  presence  of  American  forces  in  the  area. 
Why  did  you  not  share  that  information  with  the  troops  under  your 
command? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  believe  I  was  told  that  there  were 
friendly  forces  in  the  area.  My  recollection 

Senator  Thompson.  The  possible  presence  of  American  forces  in 
the  area. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  may  I  have  a  moment?  Thank  you. 

[Pause.] 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  recall  that  I  had  a  conversation  about 
possible  friendly  forces.  There  was— I  do  recall  the  conversations 
about  the  buffer  zone  that  was  on  the  Regimental  Command  net. 
I  do  recall  that  that  conversation  went  on  for  an  extended  period 
of  time,  but  from  my  view  and  vantage  point,  that  did  not  appear 
to  be  a  conversation  that  was  held  because  there  were  friendly 
forces  there  or  that  the  1st  Armored  Division  had  been  where  you 
have  shown  on  the  maps. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(b)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Let  me  perhaps  refresh  your  memory  a  bit. 
I  do  not  know  if  you  have  seen  these  reports,  but  Colonel  Starr  told 
the  Army  investigators  that  he  did  tell  you  about  the  possibility  of 
American  forces  in  the  area.  General  Griffith  told  Army  investiga- 
tors that  he  informed  the  3rd  ACR  leadership  about  the  presence 
of  American  supply  trains  in  the  area.  Do  you  recall  either  of  those 
notifications  from  either  of  those  gentlemen? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not.  The  supply  trains  discussion  and 
the — what  was  the  other  one?  I  am  sorry. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Colonel  Starr? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Colonel  Starr,  thank  you. 

Senator  Thompson.  Simply  the  possibility  of  American  forces  in 
the  area. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir.  I  thought  I  was  being  sent  into  an  area 
that  contained  Iraqi  forces.  I  thought  my  squadron  was  well  to  the 
lead  of  all  other  American  forces  in  that  area  of  the  desert. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  You  stated  that  you  recall  discussions  about 
the  boundary  line.  Were  you  aware  of  the  fact  that  Colonel  Starr 
had  tried  to  get  a  buffer  zone  so  that  you  could  operate  south  of 
the  original  boundary  line? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Were  you  aware  of  the  fact  that  that  request 
was  denied? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  I  am  aware  of  that. 

Senator  Thompson.  On  two  different  occasions? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  From  the  testimony  that  I  have  seen  since,  I  am 
aware  of  that,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  is  your  understanding  of  the  signifi- 
cance of  a  boundary  line  such  as  that? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  a  boundary  line  is  a  graphical  control  measure 
that  is  designed,  as  the  GAO  described  earlier  today,  to  try  to  keep 
two  forces  apart.  However,  when  we  were  attacking  into  an  area 
in  combat,  even  though  you  have  an  objective  drawn  on  the  ground, 
your  purpose  is  to  go  after  the  enemy  force. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  you  were  aware  of  the  fact  that  there  was 
a  boundary  line  and  that  the  reason  for  the  boundary  line  was  to 


41 

keep  the  3rd  ACR  from  firing  on  the  1st  Armored  Division  and  vice 
versa? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  that,  in  and  of  itself,  would  indicate  at 
least  the  possibility  of  American  forces  south  of  the  boundary  line? 
You  were  aware  that  the  1st  Armored  Division 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON  [continuing].  Were  operating  south  of  the 
boundary  line,  then? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  south  of  the  boundary  line,  but,  sir,  in 
my  understanding  of  this,  and  I  probably  need  to  describe  this,  I 
understood  that  the  1st  Armored  Division,  as  we  had  all  moved 
north,  that  the  1st  Armored  Division  had  turned  to  the  right  and 
was  off  in  this  direction,  while  we  had  come  up  and  moved  this 
way.  I  viewed  that  as  there  was  a  sizeable  gap.  I  now  know  from 
the  various  histories  that  have  been  drawn  that  1st  Armored  Divi- 
sion was  out  like  this,  but  I  did  not  know  that  at  the  time,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  But  you  knew  that  they  were  south  of  the 
Third? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  well  to  the  south. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  you  knew  that  the  request  for  the  buffer 
zone  had  been  made  on  two  different  occasions  and  that  had  been 
denied  on  two  different  occasions,  is  that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(c)! 

Senator  Thompson.  According  to  the  GAO  report,  witnesses  on 
the  scene  heard  you  tell  Colonel  Starr  before  you  fired  that  you  had 
seen  an  American-made  M548  vehicle.  Since  you  knew,  apparently, 
that  it  was  American-made,  did  you  allow  for  the  possibility  that 
perhaps  Americans  were  in  it? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  knew  it  was  American — I  thought  it  was 
American-made.  If  you  listen  to  the  tape,  and  I  say  if  you  listen — 
if  you  read  the  GAO  report  where  they  have  described  this  tape, 
even  after  the  fatal  shots  were  fired,  you  can  see  that  the  people 
on  the  ground  still  thought  those  were  enemy  soldiers  in  front  of 
us.  All  of  the  people  on  the  ground  thought  that. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(d)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Of  course,  all  of  the  people  on  the  ground  did 
not  know  what  you  knew,  did  they? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  No,  sir,  I  do  not  think  that  is  correct.  I  know  that 
it  has  been  characterized  that  everyone  did  not  know  what  I  knew, 
but  my  understanding  was  that  we  had  briefed  everyone,  that  we 
had  given  the  operations  order,  that  graphics  had  been  provided, 
that  everyone  did,  in  fact,  know. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(e)] 

Senator  Thompson.  You  heard  Bo  Friesen  testify 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson  [continuing].  A  few  minutes  ago  that  he  cer- 
tainly did  not  know  that  anyone  had  identified  the  vehicles  as 
American-made. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  if  you  again  look  at  that  tape,  you  will  see 
that  Bo  Friesen  had  turned  off  his  radio,  the  one  that  listened  to 
the  squadron  command  net.  That  is  a  critical  piece  of  information, 
because  Bo  could  no  longer  hear  directly  what  was  going  on.  His 


42 

XO,  if  you  also  look  at  that  tape,  identified  as  Black  Three,  seems 
to  know  what  was  going  on. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Are  you  saying  that  you,  or  someone  under 
your  direction,  put  that  on  the  radio,  the  fact  that  American  vehi- 
cles had  been  identified? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  know.  I  cannot  answer 

Senator  Thompson.  Are  you  aware  of  anyone  else  who  will  come 
forward  and  state  that  that  was  the  radio,  that  they  heard  it,  that 
they  were  aware  of  it? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  without  looking  at  all  of  the  evidence  that  has 
been  provided — not  provided,  all  of  the  evidence  that  has  been  col- 
lected, all  of  the  testimony  from  all  of  the  different  people  who  both 
the  GAO  and  the  Army  took  testimony  from,  no,  I  cannot  say  that. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(f)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  There  are  certain  people  who  have  reviewed 
all  the  testimony  that  has  been  provided  and  I  think  it  is  fair  to 
say  that 

Lt.  Col.  Gerstenlauer.  Senator,  I  believe  what  he  is  trying  to 
say  is  that  he  could  not  review  it  all  because  it  has  not  all  been 
provided  to  him. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Would  you  identify  yourself,  please? 

Lt.  Col.  Gerstenlauer.  My  name  is  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Gerstenlauer.  I  am  the  Regional  Defense  Counsel  from  the  United 
States  Army  Trial  Defense  Service  and  I  have  been  detailed  to  rep- 
resent Colonel  Daly  because  of  the  Army  investigation  into  this 
matter,  which  has  criminal  consequences  or  at  least  the  potential 
for  criminal  consequences  for  him. 

As  part  of  that  representation,  I  have  tried  to  obtain  the  informa- 
tion that  makes  up  the  basis  for  the  GAO  reports,  makes  up  the 
basis  for  the  Army  Inspector  General  reports,  and  so  forth.  Because 
of  the  graciousness  of  the  Comptroller  General  himself,  we  were 
able  to  get  some  documents  from  the  GAO  yesterday,  but  prior  to 
that,  they  denied  our  requests.  So  Colonel  Daly  is  at  a  decided  dis- 
advantage at  this  hearing,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  I  am  asking  basically  from  your  vantage 
point.  Are  you  or  are  you  not  saying  that  you  put  that  information 
on  the  radio  and  that  you  informed  all  the  people  under  your  com- 
mand there  of  the  fact  that  you  and  others  had  identified  Amer- 
ican-made vehicles? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  remember. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Let  us  get  back  to  the  boundary  line  situa- 
tion for  a  minute.  Were  you  aware  when  Friesen  reached  his  posi- 
tion there,  as  indicated  on  the  chart,  which,  as  we  know  now,  is 
well  south  of  the  boundary  line,  were  you  aware  of  the  fact  that 
Friesen  was  over  the  boundary  line,  south  of  the  boundary  line  at 
that  point,  when  he  first  saw  the  engineers? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  know  that  I  recall  that  he  was  south 
of  the  boundary  line. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  you  know,  when  you  proceeded  south, 
when  the  shots  were  first  fired  and  you  proceeded  south,  did  you 
know  that  you  were  proceeding  south  of  the  boundary  line? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  recall  whether  I  did  or  I  did  not,  be- 
cause at  that  point,  I  had  been  sent  south  through  that  fenced-in 
area.  The  green  line  that  you  see,  Colonel  Starr  had  told  me  to  go 


43 

down  to  that  point.  Colonel  Starr — and  I  am  not  sure  exactly  where 
he  was  on  the  map.  I  see  where  this  chart  has  him,  and  I  will  ac- 
cept that  as  true,  but  Colonel  Starr  had  told  me  to  send  I  Troop 
into  that  area  and  to  go  south  myself. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  was  that  last  comment,  please,  sir?  I 
missed  that. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  How  far  back  should  I  go,  sir?  I  am  sorry. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Just  the  last  sentence.  Someone  told  you  to 
go  south  yourself? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir.  Colonel  Starr  directed  me  to  go  south 
into — me,  personally,  to  go  down  to  that  point. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  did  not  direct  you  to  go  south  of  the 
boundary,  though,  did  he,  Colonel  Daly? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  he  did.  He  directed  me  to  go  into  the 
fenced-in  area. 

Senator  Thompson.  Were  you  ever  aware  of  where  the  boundary 
line  was? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir.  I  was  aware  that  it  was  the  50  grid  line. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  Colonel  Daly  directed  you  to  go  south 
of  the  boundary  line,  which  was 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Colonel  Starr  did,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Starr,  which  was  contrary  to  previous  frag- 
mentary order,  as  I  understand  it,  is  that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  but  that  is  the  nature  of  a  fragmentary 
order.  It  is  evolving. 

Senator  Thompson.  This  was  because  you  had  encountered  the 
enemy,  I  take  it,  is  that  why  he  made  the  change  in  the  order? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  His  initial  reason  was  because  he — I  am  now  say- 
ing what  I  think  his  original  reason  was,  sir,  and  I  am  speculating. 
I  do  not  know.  Colonel  Starr  told  me  to  go  into  the  fenced-in  area. 
My  speculation  is  that  we  had  come  across  something  we  had  not 
expected  to  see  and  he  had  sent  me  in  to  determine  what  it  was. 

Senator  Thompson.  After  you  arrived  at  the  scene,  and  I  am 
talking  about  now  where  you  were  at  the  time  the  fatal  shots  were 
fired,  did  you  personally  observe  any  return  fire  from  Lieutenant 
Wessels'  unit? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  I  did  not.  I  had  had  that  reported  and  I 
had  questioned  it.  Again,  as  you  see  in  the  GAO  tape,  Black  Six 
and  Black  Three  have  a  conversation  about  my  asking  those  ques- 
tions. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(g)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  There  was  already  a  cease  fire  in  effect  when 
you  arrived,  is  that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  a  cease  fire  is  a  term  that  has  been  used  in 
a  very  broad  sense.  We  had  told  Captain  Friesen  to  stop  his  unit 
from  firing,  that  is  correct,  but  it  was  within  my  responsibility  to 
change  that  as  I  saw  the  situation  required. 

Senator  Thompson.  So,  yet,  you  ordered  your  gunner  to  fire 
without  first  being  fired  upon,  is  that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  as  we  came  down,  I  received  reports  that  I 
Troop  had  been  fired  upon.  I  came  upon  the  scene 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Prior  to  the  cease  fire? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Prior  to  the  cease  fire.  I  came  upon  the  scene  and 
I  Troop  was  in  front  of  these — this  burning  building  that  was  on 


44 

the  ground.  That  turned  out  to  be  a  trailer  that  had  been  fired  into 
as  part  of  the  warning  shots  that  are  discussed  in  the  GAO  report. 
That — everything  seemed  to  be  held  up  then.  I  came  down  on  the 
scene.  I  had  brought  with  me  not  the  whole  command  group  but 
my  S3.  I  sent  for  another  vehicle. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  many  vehicles  were  with  you? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Two.  I  then  sent  for  the  Psy  Ops  team  that  we 
had  with  us  and  had  them  play  tapes  that  I  understood  were  in 
Iraqi  to  tell  Iraqis  to  give  up.  Then— nothing  happened.  Then  peo- 
ple started  moving  around 

Senator  THOMPSON.  How  much  time  are  we  talking  about,  now? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I 

Senator  THOMPSON.  From  the  time  you  arrived,  let  us  say,  on  the 
scene  until  the  time  the  fatal  shots  were  fired? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Sir,  I  cannot  answer  that.  I  know  what  I  thought. 
I  thought  it  was  about,  from  the  time  I  got  down  there,  20  to  30 
minutes. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  You  know  now  it  was  much  shorter  than 
that,  I  take  it? 

[Pause.] 

Senator  Thompson.  GAO  has  testified  that  from  the 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  did  you  want  me  to  answer  that  last  one?  I 
am  sorry. 

Senator  Thompson.  Yes.  Go  ahead. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  know  now  that  it  most  probably  is  much 
shorter  than  that.  In  my  personal  recollection  of  it,  it  still  seems 
like  a  very  long  time,  but  as  Bo  Friesen  described,  time  takes  on 
a  new  dimension,  a  time  warp,  if  you  will.  It  seemed  longer. 

Senator  Thompson.  I  believe  the  GAO  earlier  testified  that  the 
time  that  elapsed  from  the  first  shot  to  the  last  shot  was  7  min- 
utes, 15  seconds.  Did  you  hear  that  testimony  from  their  investiga- 
tion? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Yes,  sir,  I  did. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(h)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And,  of  course,  when  the  first  shot  was  filed, 
you  were  still  north  of  the  boundary  line? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  long  did  it  take  you  to  travel  from  the 
northern  position  to  your  ultimate  position,  do  you  recall,  or  what 
the  distance  was?  Perhaps  that  would  be  easier  to  estimate. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  am  influenced — I  have  to  tell  you,  I  am  in- 
fluenced by  the  testimony  that  Major  Martin  gave  to  GAO,  which 
I  saw  for  the  first  time  last  night.  He  said  that  it  took  about  10 
minutes  to  get  down  there.  That  seems  about  right  to  me.  We  did 
not  floor  the  accelerator  and  speed  down  there.  We  moved  delib- 
erately. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  When  you  arrived,  or  during  your  position- 
ing yourself  down  to  your  final  position  there,  did  you  contact  Cap- 
tain Friesen,  who  was  in  charge,  to  get  his  assessment  of  the  situa- 
tion? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  was  constantly  talking  to  Captain  Friesen's 
Executive  Officer  on  the  radio,  because  I  believed  that  he  was 
using  the  system  that  the  Army  uses,  the  communications  system 
that  the  Army  uses  with  the  Ml  tank.  He  had  in  that  tank  a  radio 


45 

that  was  capable  of  two-way  communication  and  a  receiver  which 
was  only  receiving. 

The  way  that  Captain  Friesen  operated  his  troop,  with  my  bless- 
ing, is  that  he  was  on  the  troop  command  net,  talking  to  his  subor- 
dinates. He  listened  to  my  command  net  and  could  hear  what  I  was 
saying.  If  he  had  a  message  directly  for  me,  he  passed  it  through 
his  Executive  Officer.  However,  if  you  read  the  tape,  Captain 
Friesen  chose  to  break  that  system  and  turn  off  his  receiver. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(i)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  think  that  that  is  probably  very  much  in 
dispute,  Colonel  Daly,  but  be  that  as  it  may,  did  you  request  an 
assessment  of  the  situation  from  Captain  Friesen? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  what  was  his 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  think  if  you  look  at  the  tape  again,  you  will  see 
that  Colonel  Daly,  or  Thunder  Six,  was  asking  for  assessments  al- 
most continuously. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(j)] 

Senator  Thompson.  And  what  was  Captain  Friesen's  response  to 
you  as  to  what  the  situation  was  there  on  the  ground? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  recall. 

Senator  Thompson.  You  do  not  recall  what  he  told  you  about  the 
situation  there  as  you  arrived? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  do  not  recall  that  specific  point,  no,  sir,  I  do  not. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Going  into  a  situation  there  was  a  cease  fire, 
when,  as  I  recall,  the  order  that  you  were  operating  under  was  not 
to  fire  unless  fired  upon  anyway. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir.  I  was  going  into  an  area  where  my  sol- 
diers had  stopped  firing  because  I  had  determined  that  they  had 
"pumped  out,"  as  Captain  Friesen  described  it  in  the  tape,  they  had 
fired  more  rounds  than  I  thought  necessary  at  the  time,  causing 
this  building  to  burst  into  flames. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(k)] 

Senator  Thompson.  And,  of  course,  you  were  also  under  orders 
from  Colonel  Starr  not  to  fire  again  until  you  had  verified  that  it 
was,  in  fact,  the  enemy  that  you  were  dealing  with,  were  you  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  That  was  never  a  part  of  a  fragmentary 
order  that  you  were  operating  under? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  No,  sir,  I  do  not  believe  it  was. 

Senator  Thompson.  Reading  here  from  page  41  of  the  GAO  re- 
port, it  says,  "According  to  Colonel  Starr's  gunner,  Colonel  Starr 
twice  told  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  to  confirm  that  the  target  was 
enemy  before  firing,  and  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  acknowledged 
this  order  at  least  once." 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Sir,  I  am  sorry.  Where  do  you  see  that? 

Senator  Thompson.  Page  41 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Check. 

Senator  Thompson  [continuing] .  Of  the  GAO  report. 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Yes,  sir.  About  how  far  down?  I  am  sorry. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  The  first  paragraph,  the  last  part  of  the  first 
paragraph. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  OK,  I  see  it,  sir.  I  am  sorry.  Sir,  in  retrospect,  I 
do  not  recall  it.  It  has  been  a  long  time. 


46 

Senator  THOMPSON.  That  is  a  pretty  significant  thing,  though,  is 
it  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  it  is. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  It  is  a  fair  thing  that  the  troops  that  you  are 
firing  on  are,  in  fact  enemy  troops.  So  what  we  have  established, 
apparently,  is  that  as  you  moved  south  there,  you  were  aware  that 
there  was  a  boundary  line.  You  were  aware  that  the  1st  AD  was 
south  of  that  boundary  line.  You  had  identified  an  American  vehi- 
cle. And  I  take  it  that  it  is  somewhat  in  dispute  as  to  whether  or 
not  you  were  actually  told  that  there  was  a  possibility  of  American 
forces  in  the  area,  although  we  have  two  witnesses  that  we  have 
given  to  you  who  say  that  you  were  told  that. 

So  those  were  the  circumstances  under  which  you  arrived,  and 
now  what  you  are  saying  is  that  you  did  not  get  an  assessment 
from  Captain  Friesen  as  to  what  the  situation  was  there  and  pro- 
ceeded to  allow  the  engineers  to  be  fired  upon  at  that  point,  is  that 
correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  it  is  not  correct. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Where  am  I  wrong? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  major  point  tfyat  I  disagree  with  you  on 
was  that  I  was  not  getting  an  assessment  from  Captain  Friesen.  I 
viewed  that  I  was  getting  a  constant  assessment,  fed  to  me  through 
his  troop,  of  what  was  going  on. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(1)] 

Senator  Thompson.  Now  his  assessment  today,  as  you  heard, 
was  that  he  had  the  situation  totally  under  control,  that  even  if 
they  had  been  Iraqi  troops,  there  would  have  been  no  justification 
for  firing  on  them,  that  he  could  have  taken  them  out  immediately, 
instantly,  at  any  time.  That  was  his  assessment  today.  Now,  are 
you  saying  that  he  told  you  anything  differently  there  at  the  time 
that  you  arrived  at  the  fatal  site? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  am  saying  he  did  not  tell  me  that,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  What  did  he  tell  you?  He  is  saying,  of  course, 
that  according  to  his  testimony  today,  that  he  did  not  tell  you  any- 
thing because  he  was  not  requested.  In  fact,  he  did  not  know  you 
were  coming.  In  fact,  when  you  arrived,  he  almost  shot  you.  And, 
in  fact,  when  two  people  got  out  of  your  Bradley  vehicle,  he  almost 
shot  them. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Now,  that  is  what  he  is  saying  today.  This 
is  your  opportunity  to  tell  us  where  he  is  wrong. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  believe  that  he  had  told  me  that  he 
thought  there  were  friendlies  there.  I  believe  when  you  look  at 
the 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(m)] 

Senator  Thompson.  I  did  not  ask  you  that.  He  never  said 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Rephrase  the  question,  please,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  never  said  that  he  thought  they  were 
friendlies. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  What  he  said  was  that  he  never  was  asked 
for  an  assessment,  that  his  assessment  was  that  he  had  the  situa- 
tion totally  under  control,  there  was  no  justification  for  firing  on 
these  people,  even  if  they  were  Iraqis,  that  he  did  not  know  that 


47 

you  were  coming  down  there  to  his  position  at  all,  and  that  he 
never  had  the  opportunity  to  give  his  reason  for  maintaining  the 
cease  fire.  He  also  said  that  after  the  fatal  shots  were  fired,  that 
the  other  troops  there  on  the  ground  were  irate  and  some  talking 
about  taking  action  against  you  and  that  sort  of  thing. 

So  what  their  state  of  mind  was  there  at  the  time  apparently  is 
clear.  What  I  am  asking  you  is,  in  what  way  is  that  correct,  if  you 
got  an  assessment  from  him,  the  individual  who  was  in  charge, 
what  your  recollection  is  as  to  what  that  assessment  was  and  how 
it  differs  from  what  he  says  it  was  today. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  that  is  a  whole  handful  of  questions.  I  will  try 
to  break  it  down.  The  first  I  would  like  to  talk  about  is  he  did  not 
know  I  was  coming  down  to  the  area.  Again,  going  back  to  this 
tape,  his  XO  knew  I  was  coming  down  to  the  area.  His  XO  knew 
I  was  in  the  area,  on  the  site,  because  he  has  said,  frankly,  imme- 
diately after  the  shots  were  fired,  the  XO  immediately  identified 
that  I  was  there 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  am  listening. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  OK,  sir.  He  had  immediately  identified  that  I  was 
there. 

The  second  thing  is,  I  come  back  to  the  assessment.  Did  I  ask 
him  for  an  assessment?  If  you  look  at  the  tape,  there  is  discussion 
of  asking  for  situation  reports.  Sir,  that  is  asking  for  an  assess- 
ment. That  is  what  that  phrase  gets  one  commander  from  another. 
That  is  why  we  operate  on  what  we  call  a  command  net,  which  is 
only  commanders  operating  on  that  net,  commanders  and  their 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Excuse  me,  and  I  do  not  want  to  cut  you  off. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  This  tape,  we  read  the  tape,  and  it  is  very 
fragmentary.  I  suppose  that  a  knowledgeable  person  can  make 
more  out  of  it  than  a  lay  person  can.  Apparently  there  was  one 
clear  indication  here  that  at  least  one  of  the  soldiers  there,  in  de- 
scribing your  actions,  just  said,  "Just  wanted  to  get  in  some  shots." 
That  was  his  assessment  of  your  performance  there. 

But  let  us  set  aside  the  tape  just  a  minute.  I  am  asking  about 
your  recollection.  Let  us  make  sure  that  we  are  clear  on  that.  The 
Captain  stated  that  he  was  never  asked  or  never  gave  an  assess- 
ment as  to  what  he  described  here  today  as  having  the  situation 
under  control,  and  I  am  just  simply  asking,  from  your  recollection, 
is  that  accurate  or  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  From  my  recollection,  I  was  asking  him  for  situa- 
tion reports  as  we  were  coming  down.  I  did  not  have  him  switch 
from  his  radio  to  my  radio  because  I  wanted  him  to  maintain  con- 
trol of  his  unit. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(n)] 

Senator  Thompson.  You  think  the  tape  reflects  that,  your  con- 
versation with  him? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  it  does  not,  sir.  That  is  another  thing.  The 
tape  is  not  of  my  command  net.  The  tape  is  of  Captain  Friesen's 
command  net,  so  all  I  can  go  with  is  what  they  are  saying  there. 

Senator  Thompson.  It  is  a  little 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Can  I  add  one  other  thing,  sir?  I  am  sorry. 

Senator  Thompson.  Sure. 


48 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  And  again,  I  do  not  mean  to  interrupt  you,  either, 
sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  No,  go  ahead. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  There  is  a  fundamental  difference  in  the  way  peo- 
ple remember  this.  The  people  who  were  in  my  operations  center 
on  my  equivalent  of  Black  Three,  my  XO,  my  fire  support  officer, 
my  S2,  the  testimony  seems  to  indicate  that  they  knew  that  we 
were  going  down  there  for  enemy  and  that  we  had  had  those  kinds 
of  conversations. 

Senator  Thompson.  Why  did  you  allow  your  gunner  to  fire? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  allowed  my  gunner  to  fire  because  we,  at 
that  point,  had  been  held  up,  again,  for  what  I  viewed  as  a  long 
time.  The  soldiers  on  the  ground  in  front  of  us,  the  combatants  on 
the  ground  in  front  of  us,  were  not  surrendering.  It  looked  like  they 
were  either  going  to  flee  or  were  going  to  move  to  our  flank.  It 
looked  like  they  were  not — again,  and  I  am  repeating  myself— it 
looked  like  they  were  not  surrendering.  Combatants  either  surren- 
der or  they  fight,  and  that  is  why  I  ordered  him  to  fire,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  you  saw,  what,  what  turned  out  to  be  one 
soldier  fleeing,  is  that 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir.  I  saw  several  soldiers  moving  around  in 
front  of  me.  We 

Senator  Thompson.  Of  course,  by  that  time,  one  was  wounded. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir.  And  although  I  have  tried  not  to  be  influ- 
enced by  everybody  else's  testimony  and  tried  to  rely  on  my  mem- 
ory, that  becomes  very  difficult.  My  gunner  had  a  great  deal  of  ex- 
perience in  identification  of  other  enemy  forces.  He  was  very  good 
at  what  he  did,  in  my  assessment. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Very  good  at  identification? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  thought  so,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  At  your  northern  position,  you  were  able  to 
make  out  an  American  vehicle,  an  M548,  and  yet  in  your  southern 
position,  it  still  did  not  appear  to  you  that  they  might  be  American 
troops,  so  your  gunner  did  not  turn  out  to  be  very  good  at  identify- 
ing, did  he? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Yes,  sir.  We  had  a  hard  time  with  identification, 
sir.  Part  of  that  was  because  of  this  large  fire  that  was  in  front  of 
us.  We  have  night  sights  that  have  been  described  to  you  as  you 
cannot  see  certain  things  through  those  sights,  but  when  it  sud- 
denly turns  to  daylight  in  front  of  you  with  this  large  fire,  it  be- 
comes more  difficult.  This  was  people  moving  around  a  bonfire,  if 
you  will,  sir. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(o)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  They  were  trying  to  avoid  being  shot,  were 
they  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  there  was  not  really  a  flanking  move- 
ment. You  were  not  concerned  about  being  outflanked  by  those  in- 
dividuals, were  you? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  we  were.  We  saw  within  the  circle  of  this 
fire  just  a  few  people,  but  still,  in  the  back  of  my  mind,  there  was 
the  possibility  that  there  were  more  people  out  there.  If  you  read 
the  testimony  of  Sergeant  Woborski,  he  very  eloquently  describes 
this  individual  moving  to  the  flank. 


49 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(p)] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  An  individual  moving  to  the  flank?  How 
many  vehicles  were  on  the  site  there  at  the  time?  You  brought  two 
with  you? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  brought  two  with  me. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  many 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  would  guess  there  were  about  ten  vehicles  there. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  How  many  tanks? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  only  remember  the  one,  Captain  Friesen's. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  you  were  concerned  about  this  individ- 
ual flanking  you.  Of  course,  you  have  heard  Captain  Friesen's  testi- 
mony of  his  assessment,  of  course,  again,  totally  under  control,  but 
you  did  not  have  the  benefit  of  his  assessment  at  the  time  you  al- 
lowed your  gunner  to  fire,  did  you? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  thought  that  I  had  had  the  benefit  of  his  assess- 
ment, because  I  thought  I  was  getting  it  from  his  Executive  Officer. 
But  no,  had  he  given  what  we  have  heard  today  and  understand 
now,  no.  I  still  would  contend  that  I  had  his  assessment,  or  what 
I  thought  was  his  assessment,  because  I  was  asking  him  to  tell  me 
what  the  situation  was  and  he  was  telling  me  the  situation.  Part 
of  that  situation  report  is  telling  that  kind  of  thing. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(q)] 

Senator  Thompson.  What  did  he  tell  you  that  was  involved  in 
your  decision  to  allow  the  engineers  to  be  fired  upon? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  when  we  went  to  the  south,  he  told  me — this 
was  before  I  was  to  the  south — he  told  me  that  he  had  this  force 
and  he  wanted  to  fire  warning  shots. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  fired  the  warning  shots  and  you  consid- 
ered  

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  if  you  would  excuse  me,  I  need  to  correct  my- 
self. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Go  ahead. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  He  asked  to  fire  at  them.  I  specified  that  he  would 
fire  warning  shots.  He  then  fired  the  warning  shots.  The  expression 
in  here  is  "pumped  a  few  rounds  into  the  building,"  which  in  my 
book,  I  would  not  characterize  that  as  a  warning.  That  is  firing  di- 
rectly at  them. 

Senator  Thompson.  But  you  thought  that  was  excessive? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  after  that,  the  cease  fire  was  in  effect. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  told  him  to  stop  firing,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  you  came  down,  and  without  any  fur- 
ther conversation,  you  allowed  your  gunner  to 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  No,  sir,  not  without  further  conversation.  There 
was  considerable  conversation.  There  was 

Senator  Thompson.  With  the  Captain? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  With  the  Captain's  unit.  The  Captain  listening  in 
on  my  command  net  while  I  have  called  down  the  Psy  Ops  team. 
There  are  discussions  back  and  forth  between  me  and  my  S3. 

Senator  Thompson.  What  did  the  unit  tell  you  that  caused  you 
to  fire,  if  anything?  I  mean,  I  assume 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I 

Senator  Thompson.  Let  me  see  if  we  can  cut  through  this.  Let 
me  ask  it  another  way.  You  have  heard  testimony  here  today  from 


50 

the  Captain,  who  said,  yes,  they  fired  a  warning  shot.  Yes,  they 
stopped.  He  said  that  one  had  been  wounded,  that  they  had  the  sit- 
uation totally  under  control.  Now,  this  is  an  individual  who  did  not 
have  the  information  that  you  had  that  looks  like  they  very  well 
might  be  American  troops  down  there.  But  even  if  they  were  just 
Iraqis,  he  said  he  had  it  totally  under  control.  There  had  been  no 
justification  for  firing  even  if  they  had  been  Iraqis. 

Now,  you  heard  his  testimony  here  today,  and  he  is  still  here. 
Regardless  of  what  some  intermediary  said  or  the  fact  that  he 
could  receive  but  could  not  transmit  but  one  of  his  people  could 
transmit,  where  is  he  wrong?  How  is  he  telling  us  something  dif- 
ferent today  than  what  you  recall  he  or  his  person  or  someone  you 
thought  representing  him  was  telling  you  there  early  that  morn- 
ing? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  we  had  fired  warning  shots.  He  had  reported 
that  he  had  received  fire.  Now,  we  know  that  is  wrong.  I  think  you 
and  the  GAO  have  adequately  described,  and  certainly,  when  Lieu- 
tenant Wessels  so  movingly  spoke  today,  spoke  about  the  fire,  or 
not  having  fired.  Sir,  I  believe  that. 

But,  the  fact  of  the  matter  is  that  we  had  received  a  report  that 
my  unit  had  been  fired  upon.  I  went  down  on  the  scene.  There  was 
this  large  fire.  It  appeared  that  we  were  held  up.  There  were  con- 
versations that  I  do  not  remember  what  exactly  was  said.  And,  I 
was  receiving  reports  from  my  gunner  that  it  looks  like  this  is  a 
dangerous  situation.  It  looks  like  this  guy  is  moving  off  to  our 
flank.  These  people  are  not  surrendering,  and  so  he  asked  me  for, 
can  I  fire  at  their  feet? 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(r)] 

Senator  Thompson.  So  you  were  relying  on  your  gunner  for  this 
information?  He  requested 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  was  relying  on  my  gunner,  but  I  was  also  looking 
through  my  sight,  standing  up,  looking  out  of  the  top  of  the  turret 
with  my  eyes.  So  it  is  a  combination  of  inputs.  And,  yes,  I  was  re- 
ceiving inputs  from  I  Troop.  I  do  not  remember 

Senator  Thompson.  So  getting  back  to  my  question,  I  take  it 
there  is  nothing,  basically,  that  you  disagree  with  Captain 
Friesen's  testimony? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Oh,  no,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  That  is  a  factual 

Lt.  Col.  Gerstenlauer.  I  think  that  is  a  mischaracterization, 
Senator.  He  has  clearly  made  some  distinctions  here. 

Senator  Thompson.  I  asked  him  if  there  was  anything  he  dis- 
agreed with,  and  I  got  a  rendition  of- 


Lt.  Col.  Gerstenlauer.  You  said  that- 


Senator  THOMPSON.  Let  me  finish.  I  got  a  rendition  of  his  assess- 
ment of  what  happened  that  night,  which  is  pertinent  testimony 
but  is  not  an  answer  to  my  question.  He  said  he  saw  the  situation 
like  that.  He  had  never  had  an  opportunity,  he  was  never  asked 
for  his  assessment,  and  he  never  gave  his  assessment,  and  you 
showed  up  and  made  a  determination  to  break  the  cease  fire  and 
allow  these  people  to  be  fired  upon.  Now,  I  am  just  asking  you 
where  he  is  wrong. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  he  is  wrong  in  that  he  did — excuse  me  a  sec- 
ond. 


51 

[Pause.] 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  major  point  that  we  are  disagreeing  on  is 
whether  or  not  he  was  giving  me  assessments.  I  do  not  disagree, 
now  knowing  that  he  turned  off  his  radio,  that  he  was  not  giving 
me  assessments.  I  can  tell  you,  I  thought  I  was  receiving  them  be- 
cause we  were  operating  in  the  normal  way  that  a  combat  oper- 
ation would  operate. 

Senator  Thompson.  What  is  the  source  of  your  information  that 
he  turned  off  his  radio? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  it  is  the  GAO  report,  in  the  tape. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  The  tape?  Can  you  tell  that  from  the  tape? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Let  me  find  it,  sir. 

[Pause.] 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  As  we  are  looking 

Senator  THOMPSON.  As  we  are  looking,  we  will  move  on  and 
maybe  counsel  can  find  that  as  we  go  ahead. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  We  can  do  that. 

Senator  Thompson.  After  the  incident,  you  told  Captain  Friesen 
that,  according  to  the  testimony,  that  "We  have  to  keep  this  under 
our  hats."  Is  that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  as  I  told  General  Halley,  I  do  not  remember 
those  words.  But,  I  do  remember  that  I  made  a  conscious  effort, 
which  may  have  been  misunderstood,  to  try  to  keep  all  of  the  wit- 
nesses from — not  collaborating,  but — from  influencing  one  another 
in  their  renditions  of  what  happened.  I  knew  from  the  moment  it 
happened,  from  the  moment  Captain  Venezia  reported  to  me  that 
they  were  Americans  and  I  reported  to  the  Regimental  Com- 
mander, I  knew  that  there  was  going  to  be  an  investigation  and  I 
did  not  want  that  investigation  tainted. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Do  you  recall  using  those  particular  words? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir.  I  have  just  said,  I  do  not  recall  it.  If  I  did, 
it  was  a  poor  choice  of  words. 

Senator  Thompson.  How  could,  "Let  us  keep  this  under  our  hat," 
be  confused  with  not  tainting  the  investigation? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  I  am  sorry 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Do  you  recall  what  you  did  say,  exactly? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  am  sorry.  I  have  to  ask  you  to  repeat  the 
question. 

Senator  Thompson.  You  do  not  recall  whether  or  not  you  said, 
"Let  us  keep  this  under  our  hat,"  and  you  say  your  motivation  was 
you  did  not  want  the  investigation  tainted.  If  that  was  your  moti- 
vation, is  there  any  possibility  that  you  could  have  said,  "Let  us 
keep  this  under  our  hat"?  I  mean,  is  that  any  way  consistent  with 
making  for  a  pure  investigation? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Obviously,  it  is  not,  sir.  If  I  used  those  words,  and 
I  cannot  tell  you  whether  I  used  them  or  I  did  not  use  them — sir, 
I  want  to  be  very  clear.  I  had  no  intention  of  in  any  way  hiding 
what  went  on  that  night. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  you  receive  a  Bronze  Star  medal  for 
your  actions  during  the  Persian  Gulf  War? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  I  did. 


52 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Did  your  Commander,  Colonel  Starr,  rec- 
ommend you  for  that  award? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Sir,  I  am  not  sure  I  know  who  recommended  me 
for  the  award,  and  it  was  not  for  the  Desert  Storm  War,  it  was  for 
Desert  Shield/Desert  Storm.  It  was  a  service  award  for  the  period 
of  time.  Colonel  Starr  did  pin  that  award  on  in  a  ceremony  at  Fort 
Bliss. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  I  believe  in  that  ceremony  they  read  a 
narrative  that  accompanies  your  medal  recommendation,  and  I 
want  to  read  from  that  narrative.  "Lieutenant  Colonel  John  Daly 
has  distinguished  himself  by  both  meritorious  and  valorous  actions. 
The  most  significant  demonstration  of  valor  occurred  on  26-27  Feb- 
ruary 1991,  during  a  night  attack  of  an  enemy  airfield.  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly  calmly  and  systematically  sorted  through  the  confu- 
sion and  directed  the  actions  of  I  Troop  in  clearing  the  objectives. 
In  all  phases  of  this  operation,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's  service 
has  been  replete  with  valorous  and  meritorious  action." 

That  narrative  describes  the  attack  on  Sergeant  Fielder's  unit,  is 
that  correct? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  reason  we  are  back-and-forthing  here  is 
that  this  is  the  first  time  I  have  seen  this. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Was  that  language  not  read  at  the  time  of 
the  medal  ceremony? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  I  do  not  think  it  was.  I  was  not  given  an 
award  for  valorous  service.  This  is  not  what  I  have  seen  on  the  cer- 
tificate that  I  was  given,  and  I  do  not  think  this  is  what  was  read. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  The  certificate,  of  course,  is  a  certificate,  but 
the  narrative  accompanying  it  is  more  or  less  the  reasons  for  the 
award. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  process  that  happens  with  the  rec- 
ommending of  an  award  is  somebody  writes  this  up,  a  clerk  types 
it,  it  goes  through  an  approval  process,  which  I  will  not  go  through 
right  now,  but  it  goes  through  an  approval  process,  and  all  that  I 
see  at  the  end  state  of  it  is  a  certificate,  and  in  some  cases,  only 
a  set  of  orders. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  This  is  the  narrative  that  the  Army  provided 
that  accompanied  your  Bronze  Star. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  Army  has  not  provided  it  to  me,  to  my 
knowledge. 

Senator  Thompson.  Are  you  surprised  to  learn  that  you  received 
your  medal,  at  least  in  part,  because  of  the  action  that  happened 
with  regard  to  the  incident  we  have  been  talking  about? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  I  am  absolutely  shocked,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Knowing  now  that  your  award — assuming, 
for  the  moment,  that  your  award  was  based,  at  least  in  part,  on 
this  friendly  fire  incident,  do  you  think  that  that  award  was  de- 
served? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  the  award  was  not  for  the  friendly  fire  inci- 
dent, and  no,  sir,  I  do  not  think  so. 

Senator  Thompson.  Let  us  make  sure  you  are  clear  now.  What 
did  you  say?  You  do  not 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  do  not  think  that  the  Bronze  Star  that  I  am 
wearing  today  was  for  that  incident. 


L 


53 

Senator  Thompson.  I  notice  it  was  awarded  on  May  2.  We  have 
the  award  itself  there,  and  part  of  that  language  says,  "for  excep- 
tionally meritorious  achievement  in  support  of  actions  against  a 
hostile  force." 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  and  I  think  Saddam  Hussein's  army  was 
a  hostile  force  and  I  think  I  did  participate  in  the  operations  that 
were  responsible  for  defeating  him. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  that  any  soldier 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  And  when  Colonel  Starr  gave  me  that  award,  he 
made  it  very  clear  to  me  that  it  was  a  service  award  for  from  the 
1st  of  October — I  think  it  was  the  1st  of  October — when  we  went 
to  Saudi  Arabia  through  the  end,  until  our  arrival  back  at  Fort 
Bliss.  I  do  not  view  this  as  that  particular  evening  or  morning  in 
any  way. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  any  soldier  who  participated  in  the 
Desert  Storm  campaign  would  have  been  entitled  to  the  Bronze 
Star? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  If  his  commander  determined  that  he  thought  that 
that  service  was  meritorious,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Well,  if  all  that  was  involved  in  it  was  being 
against  Saddam  Hussein,  how  did  your  actions  differ  from  anyone 
else's? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  that  is  for  others  to  determine.  You  are  asking 
me  to  defend  why  my  commander  gave  me  an  award  and  I  do  not 
think  I  should  do  that. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  notice  here  that  your  award  was  awarded 
on  May  2,  1991,  which  is  the  same  day  that  an  award  was  given 
to  Sergeant  Kenneth  Shumate — do  you  remember  him? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  I  do. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  was  in  your  Bradley  vehicle,  was  he  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  he  was. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  It  was  also  the  same  day  that  the  award  was 
given  to  Captain  Patrick  Venezia. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Do  you  recall  him? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  was  also  in  your  vehicle,  was  he  not? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir,  he  was. 

Senator  Thompson.  Those  were  the  two  individuals  who  Captain 
Friesen  said  proceeded  in  front  of  his  position  and  they  almost 
shot,  is  that  correct?  Those  are  the  individuals  he  was  identifying? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Those  are  the  two  individuals,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  they  were  both  awarded  Bronze  Stars 
with  "V"  for  valor,  which  is  awarded  to  any  soldier  who  distin- 
guished himself  by  heroic  or  meritorious  achievement  or  service  in 
connection  with  military  operations  against  an  armed  enemy. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  You  recommended,  of  course,  Captain 
Venezia  yourself,  right? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  would  have  to  see  the  document  you  have. 

Senator  Thompson.  OK. 

[Pause.] 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir.  I  recommended  Captain  Venezia  and  Ser- 
geant Shumate  for  a  valorous  award  because  I  believed  that  when 


54 

they  dismounted  that  vehicle  and  went  forward  to  meet  people  we 
thought  were  the  enemy,  even  after — well,  people  that  we  thought 
were  the  enemy.  I  thought  that  was  brave. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Of  course,  the  GAO  had  a  different  perspec- 
tive of  that,  did  they  not?  They  thought  it  was  a  dereliction  of  duty 
for  you  to  send  a  couple  of  individuals  out  there  in  front  of  their 
own  troops,  unidentified,  and  putting  them  in  harm's  way.  You  re- 
call that  from  the  GAO  report? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  That  is  the  GAO's  assessment,  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  According  to  your  language  here,  in  rec- 
ommending this  Venezia,  it  says,  "for  exceptionally  meritorious 
heroism  in  the  face  of  hostile  fire  during  a  regimental  attack  to 
seize  the  airfield  in  the  early  hours  of  27  February  1991.  Captain 
Venezia  distinguished  himself  by  volunteering  to  dismount  and 
take  enemy  prisoner  personnel.  With  reported  enemy  fire  and 
burning  vehicles  to  his  front,  Captain  Venezia  dismounted,  rushed 
forward  of  friendly  vehicles  to  take  prisoners."  Was  this  before  or 
after  the  fatal  shots  were  fired,  when  he  rushed  forward  to  take 
prisoners? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  it  was  after  the  fatal  shots  were  fired. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  "He  was  responsible  for  diffusing  the  situa- 
tion, restoring  order,  and  saving  the  lives  of  at  least  four  American 
soldiers." 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  As  Captain  Friesen  has  pointed  out,  we  had  a  lot 
of  firepower  there,  sir.  We  could  have  fired  more  rounds  than  we 
did.  Captain  Venezia,  when  he  went  forward,  did  so  to  try  to — we 
sent  him  forward  to  try  to  diffuse  the  situation. 

Senator  Thompson.  You  were  the  one  doing  the  firing,  Colonel. 
Was  the  Captain  keeping  you  from  continuing  to  fire?  Is  that  what 
you  are  saying? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir.  He  helped  me  in  my  assessment  of  what 
was  going  on  on  the  battlefield.  He  did  something  brave.  We  can 
now  say,  because  these  people  were  not  the  enemy,  OK,  that  was 
not  brave,  but  we  thought  it  was  a  very  brave  thing  to  get  out  of 
that  vehicle  and  go  forward. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  You  state  here  in  his  recommendation  that 
he  did  so  in  the  face  of  hostile  fire.  You  knew  at  the  time  you  wrote 
this  award,  of  course,  that  he  was  not  facing  hostile  fire. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  I  did  not  know  that  he  was  not  facing  hos- 
tile fire. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  After  you  arrived  on  the  scene,  at  any  time 
did  you  see  the  people  you  were  shooting  at  fire? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  I  did  not. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  you  are  basing  this  on  the  hostile  fire 
that  you  thought  occurred,  which  we  now  know  apparently  did  not 
ever  occur,  but  you  thought  occurred  back  before  you  arrived  at  the 
scene? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  I  am  basing  it  on  the  reports  that  I  had  received, 
sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  back  before  he  arrived  at  the  scene? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  So  you  recommended  him  for  this  medal, 
and,  apparently,  he,  in  turn,  recommended  Sergeant  Shumate,  who 
also  departed  from  your  vehicle.  So  the  ones  in  your  vehicle,  you 


55 

recommended  Venezia.  Venezia  recommended  Shumate.  And  all  of 
the  awards,  including  yours  and  theirs,  were  awarded  on  the  same 
day.  Do  you  think  that  maybe  your  award  might  have  had  some- 
thing to  do  with  that  incident,  in  retrospect? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  In  retrospect,  when  Colonel  Starr  was  pinning  it 
on,  he  was  very  clear  to  me  that  it  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  inci- 
dent. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(s)] 

Senator  Thompson.  Has  your  Bronze  Star  been  revoked? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  it  has  not. 

Senator  Thompson.  Other  men  in  your  unit  also  received  Bronze 
Stars  for  heroism,  as  we  just  mentioned,  based  on  their  actions 
during  the  attack  on  Sergeant  Fielder's  unit.  Of  course,  we  know 
that  you  recommended  Captain  Venezia.  This  recommendation 
commended  Captain  Venezia  for  saving  the  lives  of  four  American 
soldiers.  Would  you  describe  again  how  he  saved  the  lives  of  four 
American  soldiers? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  By  determining  that  the  people  on  the  ground 
were  Americans,  he  helped  us  not  continue  the  fight  there. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  he  run  out  there  and  report  back  to 
you 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson  [continuing] .  That  these  were  Americans? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  He  ran  out.  He  saw  what — he  found  what  had 
happened.  He  ran  back  and  talked  to  me. 

Senator  Thompson.  Did  it  ever  occur  to  you  to  do  that  before  you 
fired  the  fatal  shots? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  it  did  not. 

Senator  Thompson.  Colonel,  by  recommending  these  two  individ- 
uals who  were  with  you — was  anyone  else  with  you  in  that  Bradley 
vehicle? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  there  was  a  driver  in  the  vehicle,  and  I  think 
that  was  all — they  were  the  only  people  there. 

[Addendum  at  Exhibit  39(t)]  ' 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Was  your  recommendation  for  this  medal  for 
Captain  Venezia  part  of  an  attempt  to  get  him  to  keep  the  lid  on 
the  situation? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  No,  sir,  it  was  not,  not  in  any  way,  shape,  or  form. 
I  encouraged  everyone  there  to  tell  the  truth. 

Senator  Thompson.  Colonel,  do  you  think,  in  retrospect,  that  you 
should  have  recommended  a  medal  for  someone  who  was  involved 
in  a  friendly  fire  case? 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Sir,  in  retrospect,  I  wish  like  hell  that  I  had  not. 
But,  I  still  would  say  to  you,  this  was  a  brave  act  that  this  man 
did,  and  I  will  leave  it  at  that,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  In  your  opinion  as  a  military  person,  should 
medals  ever  be  awarded  for  people  who  accidentally  kill  their  fel- 
low soldiers  in  combat,  regardless  of  bravery? 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  Captain  Venezia  did  not  do  that.  Captain 
Venezia  and  Sergeant  Shumate  were  in  the  back  of  the  vehicle  and 
had  nothing  to  do  with  it. 

Senator  Thompson.  Let  me  rephrase  it.  Should  medals  ever  be 
recommended  to  anyone  who  is  a  part  of  a  force  that  kills  fellow 
American  soldiers? 


56 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  I  think  that  you  need  to  evaluate  the  facts  of 
each  particular  incident.  You  are  asking  me  for  a  blanket  state- 
ment and  I  am  not  willing  to  give  that  blanket  statement,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right,  sir.  I  think  those  are  all  the  ques- 
tions I  have. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  Sir,  you  had  asked  me  earlier  about  the  radio  con- 
versation. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Yes,  sir. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly.  On  page  98,  at  the  bottom  of  the  page,  next  to  the 
last  line,  Black  Three  says,  "This  is  Three.  Roger.  Higher.  3rd 
Squadron  Commander  is  aware.  He  just  keeps  asking  for  situation 
report."  Black  Six:  "Roger.  I  cut  the  aux.  off  because  there  was  too 
much  confusion." 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right,  sir.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Sir,  you  understand  what  an  aux.  is,  do  you  not? 
It  is  the  other  radio. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  think  I  understand. 

Lt.  Col.  DALY.  Thank  you,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you. 

We  have  one  other  panel  of  witnesses,  but  I  do  think  that  a 
break  would  probably  be  in  order  right  now.  Why  do  we  not  recess 
until  2  p.m. 

[Recess.] 

Senator  THOMPSON.  The  Subcommittee  will  come  to  order. 

The  final  witnesses  today  will  be  a  panel  of  officials  from  the 
United  States  Army.  I  want  to  note  for  the  record  that  the  Sub- 
committee formally  invited  Army  Secretary  Togo  West  to  testify  at 
this  hearing.  However,  an  Army  representative  advised  the  Sub- 
committee that  the  Secretary  would  not  be  available  today.  We  re- 
gret that  Secretary  West  is  not  appearing  before  us. 

Testifying  for  the  Army  will  be  General  Ronald  H.  Griffith,  Vice 
Chief  of  Staff;  Sara  E.  Lister,  Assistant  Secretary  for  Manpower 
and  Reserve  Affairs;  and  Major  General  Michael  Nardotti,  Judge 
Advocate  General. 

As  you  know,  we  swear  all  witnesses  who  appear  before  this  Sub- 
committee and  I  will  ask  all  of  you  to  rise  and  raise  your  right 
hands. 

Do  you  swear  that  the  testimony  you  give  before  this  Subcommit- 
tee will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you,  God? 

General  GRIFFITH.  I  do. 

Ms.  Lister.  I  do. 

Major  General  NARDOTTI.  I  do. 

Senator  Thompson.  Thank  you. 

Who  desires  to  go  first,  or,  Ms.  Lister,  are  you  the  only  one  mak- 
ing a  statement? 

Ms.  Lister.  I  am  the  only  one  with  a  prepared  statement,  and 
I  would  like  to  submit  it  for  the  record,  if  I  might,  and  summarize 
it  briefly. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  So  ordered. 

Ms.  Lister.  Thank  you. 


57 

TESTIMONY  OF  SARA  E.  LISTER,1  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY, 
MANPOWER  AND  RESERVE  AFFAIRS,  UNITED  STATES  ARMY; 
ACCOMPANTED  BY  GENERAL  RONALD  H.  GRIFFITH,  VICE 
CHffiF  OF  STAFF,  UNITED  STATES  ARMY;  AND  MAJOR  GEN- 
ERAL MICHAEL  NARDOTTI,  THE  JUDGE  ADVOCATE  GEN- 
ERAL, UNITED  STATES  ARMY 

Ms.  Lister.  Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  testify  on  behalf  of 
the  Department  of  the  Army  with  respect  to  the  tragic  incident  on 
the  night  of  February  27,  1991,  and  the  subsequent  actions  taken 
by  the  Army. 

As  you  noted,  I  am  accompanied  today  by  General  Ron  Griffith, 
who  is  now  the  Vice  Chief  of  the  Army  but  who  was  Inspector  Gen- 
eral of  the  Army,  and  before  that  the  commander  of  the  1st  Ar- 
mored Division  during  the  Persian  Gulf  War.  He  can  speak  with 
great  knowledge  of  these  events. 

I  am  also  accompanied  by  Major  General  Mike  Nardotti,  who  is 
the  Judge  Advocate  General  of  the  Army  and  who  will  be  able  to 
answer  specific  questions  with  respect  to  the  regulations  and  proc- 
esses. 

First  and  most  importantly,  I  would  like  to  apologize  on  behalf 
of  the  Department  of  the  Army  to  the  parents  of  Sergeant  Douglas 
Lance  Fielder.  I  have  great  sympathy  for  them.  I  can  assure  you 
that  the  entire  Army  does.  I  know  that  it  is  hard  enough  for  them 
to  have  lost  a  son,  but  even  worse  was  the  feeling  that  they  have 
had  that  the  Army  had  abandoned  them.  I  want  to  assure  them 
that  the  Army  has  never  lost  hold  of  this  incident  and  we  have 
made  many  mistakes.  I  said  that  in  my  prepared  statement  and  I 
repeat  it  now  to  them.  But  we  have  never  lost  hold  of  the  effort 
to  find  the  truth  and  to  bring  this  matter  to  resolution  with  both 
justice  and  compassion. 

Second,  I  want  to  commend  the  professionalism  and  thorough- 
ness of  the  GAO  investigation.  Shortly  after  I  was  sworn  in  as  As- 
sistant Secretary  of  the  Army,  I  attended  a  briefing  given  by  the 
GAO  to  the  Inspector  General  and  a  group  of  people  who  were  pur- 
suing this  tragic  event.  I  was  very  impressed  then.  It  was  the  first 
time  the  Army  had  heard  the  tapes.  Everyone  in  that  room  was 
moved  by  them.  I  knew  then  that  the  GAO  had  already  done  a  very 
impressive  job,  and  reading  the  written  report  just  confirmed  my 
original  belief. 

There  are  four  issues  that  arose  from  this  tragic  event  that  I  will 
discuss  briefly,  and  then  General  Griffith  would  like  to  say  a  few 
words,  if  it  is  all  right  with  you,  and  we  will  be  ready  to  answer 
your  questions. 

First  of  all,  the  investigations.  I  have  no  doubt  that  they  were 
flawed,  having  read  as  much  of  them  as  I  have.  The  first  two  AR 
15-6  investigations,  really,  they  were  one  investigation  in  two 
parts  because  they  were  done  by  the  same  individual,  a  young  cap- 
tain. They  were  flaws  partly  because  of  his  junior  status.  It  is  not 
proper  under  the  regulation  to  do  an  investigation  of  that  kind 
with  an  officer  who  is  junior  to  the  commander  being  investigated. 
Nevertheless,  because  it  was  a  wartime  situation,  that  seemed  the 
best  answer. 


'The  prepared  statement  of  Ms.  Lister  appears  on  page  83. 


58 

What  impressed  me,  going  over  the  file,  was  the  fact  that  the 
Army  did  not  let  the  matter  rest  there.  Questions  were  asked  from 
the  very  beginning.  Questions  were  asked  by  the  commanders  of 
those  soldiers  who  were  killed.  General  Griffith's  superior,  General 
Freddie  Franks,  wrote  an  extensive  memorandum  to  General  Luck 
which  asked  a  whole  series  of  questions,  factual  questions,  because 
it  was  clear  that  the  investigation  had  not  gone  far  enough. 

A  second  investigation  was  conducted.  That  one,  also,  had  prob- 
lems. It  again  appeared  not  to  hold  anyone  responsible.  The  conclu- 
sions did  not  appear  to  be  appropriate  to  the  Army  leadership. 
There  again,  we  have  in  the  record  an  extensive  memorandum  of 
questions  which  were  to  be  followed  up  on  by  the  Judge  Advocate 
General  of  the  Commander,  Forces  Command,  who  was  the  one 
with  responsibility  for  determining  what  actions  should  be  taken. 

Obviously,  the  GAO  did  a  somewhat  better  job  of  finding  all  the 
facts  than  the  Army  did.  However,  the  GAO  report  itself  said,  and 
I  believe,  looking  at  it,  that  there  was  enough  there  in  the  facts  for 
the  right  conclusions  to  be  drawn  and  for  action  to  be  taken  on 
those  facts.  In  fact,  General  Burba  did  issue  letters  of  reprimand. 
He,  getting  responses,  made  some  changes  in  his  recommendations 
as  to  what  would  happen  to  the  individuals  involved,  but  that  was 
not  the  end  of  the  matter. 

Again,  I  can  only  state  that  the  investigations  were  flawed,  but 
all  the  facts  were  there  in  the  end.  The  commanders  who  cared 
about  their  troops,  who  cared  deeply  about  those  who  were  killed, 
did  continue  to  ask  questions. 

Secondly,  the  casualty  notification  process.  To  speak  frankly, 
that  horrified  me.  It  horrified  me,  in  part,  because  even  during  this 
year  when  I  have  been  with  the  Army,  we  have  had  some  tragic 
accidents.  Fortunately,  we  are  not  at  war,  so  these  were  training 
accidents,  and  I  know  how  much  the  Army  cared  about  getting  to 
the  families  fast  with  as  much  information  as  they  had.  So  I  was 
struck  by  what  was  clearly  a  bad  process  and  bumbling  on  the  part 
of  those  concerned. 

On  looking  at  it  all,  it  appears  to  me  to  be  clear  that  it  was  not 
done  intentionally.  It  was  tragic.  I  would  never  want  to  have  that 
happen  to  parents  of  any  soldier  killed  in  the  line  of  duty  again. 
Hopefully,  with  the  help  of  the  Congress,  which  passed  some  legis- 
lation, we  have  fixed  the  process  so  that  it  will  not  happen  again. 
I  know  that  in  war,  things  sometimes  get  complicated,  but  here,  I 
can  only  apologize  again  for  what  was  clearly  bad.  Parents  deserve 
to  know  the  facts,  even  if  they  are  not  the  whole  facts,  as  soon  as 
those  in  charge  know  them,  and  I  believe  that  very  strongly. 

Third,  awards.  This  is  something  that  strikes  particularly  close 
to  home,  because  I  am  the  one  who  received  the  letter  from  the  In- 
spector General  in  August  of  this  year  suggesting  that,  in  light 
with  the  GAO  recommendations,  that  we  look  at  awards  that  were 
given  which  appeared  to  be  misstated,  to  put  it  in  the  best  light. 
Awards  were  given,  Bronze  Stars  with  the  "V"  for  valor,  for  events 
of  that  night. 

We  sent  the  letter  to  the  appropriate  people  to  work,  and  the 
Army  worked  it.  The  Army  did  not  work  it  fast  enough,  nor,  at  the 
time,  did  we  understand  exactly  what  was  going  on.  It  was  only 
when  I  read  myself  the  award  recommendations,  the  narratives 


59 

that  go  with  the  awards,  that  I  understood  the  seriousness  of  the 
problem. 

As  you  know,  the  Secretary  of  the  Army  revoked  those  awards 
because  he  did  not  quite  understand  where  the  process  was  at  that 
time.  I  have  since,  on  going  through  the  files,  seen  that  the  soldiers 
who  were  given  those  awards  were,  indeed,  soldiers  who  had  done 
professional  and  sometimes  brave  things.  These  were  not  soldiers 
involved  in  the  incident. 

They  should  never  have  gotten  an  award  with  the  "V"  for  valor, 
because  this  was  not  an  incident  that  happened  under  enemy  fire, 
but  it  is  quite  possible  that  they  deserved  to  be  recognized  for  their 
service,  especially  there  was,  as  I  recall,  an  Army  surgeon  and 
some  other  people  who  helped  with  the  wounded.  The  narratives 
were  definitely  wrong,  but  they  did  not  see  the  narratives.  The  nar- 
ratives are  written  by  other  people  who  recommend  them  for  the 
awards. 

So,  there  again,  we  are  culpable.  We  are  reviewing  that,  and  we 
are  also  reviewing  our  processes.  We  need  to  be  able  to  suspend 
awards  when  they  are  in  question,  instead  of  just  revoking  them. 
Suspending  them  means  a  soldier  cannot  wear  them  and  they  real- 
ly are  not  in  a  position  to  feel  that  the  matter  is  closed,  but  it  per- 
haps is  somewhat  fairer  to  the  individuals  involved. 

We  are  also  changing  the  regulation,  and  this  will  take  some 
time  because  we  want  to  do  it  right,  to  ensure  that  when  instruc- 
tions go  out  to  the  field  in  a  wartime  setting,  that,  number  one,  the 
field  is  reminded  that  the  narrative  must  be  accurate  and  must  re- 
flect the  facts,  and  second,  that  they  be  reminded  that  fratricide  is 
never  a  kind  of  situation  in  which  a  Bronze  Star  with  a  "V"  for 
valor  should  be  awarded. 

There  is  another  problem  with  awards  and  that  is  awards  that 
were  given  to  other  soldiers,  perhaps,  in  other  fratricide  incidents 
during  the  Persian  Gulf  War.  We  do  not  know  much  about  that  yet. 
That  is  still  being  looked  at  by  the  proper  people,  and,  hopefully, 
we  will  have  an  answer  to  all  questions  about  those  other  awards 
by  the  middle  of  August. 

The  awards  given  to  those  in  command  are  a  different  issue,  and 
there  we  have  the  Commander  of  the  Military  District  of  Washing- 
ton, who  is  the  Court  Martial  authority,  looking  at  the  issue  of 
whether  awards  given  were  appropriate,  as  well  as  the  matters 
that  happened  that  night. 

Finally,  I  need  to  say  a  word  about  other  personnel  issues.  There 
is  only  one  officer  who  was  personally  involved  in  those  incidents 
who  is  still  on  active  duty.  His  actions  are  still  under  review,  so 
it  would  be  inappropriate  for  me  to  prejudice  the  decision  making 
process. 

What  I  can  say,  however,  is  that  anything  with  respect  to  the  fu- 
ture of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  and  the  Army  is  on  hold.  He  has 
not  been  promoted.  He  has  not  attended  Senior  Service  College.  No 
matter  what  happens  with  the  recommendations  and  the  decisions 
of  the  Commanding  General  of  the  Military  District  of  Washington, 
Army  Headquarters  can  still  do  a  further  review  of  his  own  status 
to  make  sure  that  whatever  board  considers  him  knows  all  the 
facts. 


60 

In  summary,  I  want  to  state  again  that  we  made  serious  mis- 
takes, but  the  Army  itself  corrected  them  and  we  have  learned 
from  them.  We  will  be  very  happy  to  work  with  you  and  the  Com- 
mittee staff  to  ensure  that  the  processes  we  put  in  place  for  the  fu- 
ture are  the  right  ones. 

Finally,  and  most  importantly,  I  want  to  reiterate  that  the  Army 
does  honor  Sergeant  Fielder's  service  and  his  sacrifice.  Thank  you, 
sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  General  Griffith? 

General  Griffith.  Sir,  I  have  no  prepared  statement.  I  would 
just  like  to  comment  that  I  was  the  Commanding  General  of  the 
1st  Armored  Division  during  the  Gulf  War.  The  division  was  a  part 
of  the  main  attack  against  the  Republican  Guards.  At  the  time  we 
attacked  into  Iraq,  the  division  was  at  about  24,000  strength.  The 
engineer  battalion,  of  which  Sergeant  Fielder  was  a  member,  was 
a  part  of  that  task  force.  It  had  been  added  to  the  division  in  Saudi 
Arabia. 

I  have  reviewed  the  GAO  report.  I  think  the  GAO  report  fairly 
and  objectively  captures  the  essence  of  the  events  of  this  tragic  oc- 
currence. I  would  take  exception  with  one  observation  from  the 
GAO  report.  It  has  to  do  with  the  statement  that  coordination  be- 
tween the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  and  the  1st  Armored  Di- 
vision, the  two  flank  units  of  the  XVIII  Airborne  and  VII  U.S. 
Corps,  had  broken  down. 

In  fact,  on  the  26th  of  February,  we  had  made  the  turn  to  the 
east.  We  had  been  told  by  General  Schwartzkopf  that  we  were  in, 
to  use  a  military  term,  a  "pursuit  operation."  His  expectation  was 
for  us  to  go  as  aggressively  and  as  rapidly  as  possible  to  attack  the 
Republican  Guard  forces  in  their  positions.  We  moved  to  execute 
those  orders. 

I  would  say  that  a  major  separation  occurred  between  the  3rd 
Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  and  my  division,  but  that  the  coordina- 
tion did  not,  in  fact,  break  down.  I  had  continuous  communication 
with  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry.  I  had  a  captain  from  my  organiza- 
tion who  was  with  the  command  group  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment.  We  had  communications  with  that  regiment  throughout 
the  afternoon  of  the  26th,  and  on  into  the  night  and  the  morning 
of  the  27th  when  this  tragic  event  took  place. 

So  that  is  the  one  exception  I  would  take  with  the  GAO  report — 
the  characterization  that  coordination  had  broken  down.  But  other- 
wise, I  would  say  that  the  GAO  report  is  fair  and  objective,  and  I 
think  it  is  accurate  in  capturing  the  events  of  this  tragedy. 

Sergeant  Fielder  was  the  first  soldier  of  the  1st  Armored  Division 
to  die  in  Iraq.  I  only  state  this  to  put  his  death  in  context.  The  1st 
Armored  Division  fought  two  of  the  largest  battles  of  the  war.  We 
fought  the  Tawakalna  Division,  and  we  fought  the  Medina  Divi- 
sion. We  suffered  four  killed  and  57  wounded.  Sergeant  Fielder  was 
the  first  to  die. 

I  think  about  those  four  deaths  every  day.  I  probably  think  of 
Sergeant  Fielder  more  than  I  do  the  others  because  the  others  died 
in  operations  against  the  Iraqis.  Sergeant  Fielder's  death  is  pain- 
ful. It  remains  painful  for  me  because  it  should  not  have  occurred, 
and  so  I  regret  that  deeply.  I  would  say  that  I  agree  with  Ms.  List- 
er. Certainly,  I  would  not  even  attempt  to  assert  that  I  could  have 


61 

the  same  feelings  about  the  event  that  his  family  has — the  pain  is 
not  the  same — but  the  pain  for  me  is  very  deep. 

I  would  tell  you,  sir,  that  as  Sergeant  Fielder's  commander,  for 
4  years  I  have  done  everything  that  I  could  do  within  my  power 
to  assure  that  the  events  of  that  evening  were  accurately  captured, 
that  eventually  the  truth  would  be  recorded,  and  that  the  truth 
would  be  reported  to  the  family  of  Sergeant  Fielder. 

I  would  tell  you,  sir,  that  we  bungled  it  along  the  way,  but  I 
would  also  tell  you,  unequivocally  and  without  hesitation,  that 
there  was  no  attempt  on  the  part  of  the  United  States  Army  to 
cover  up  anything.  I  would  also  tell  you,  sir,  that  while  Ms.  Shelton 
was  working  aggressively  to  ensure  that  the  truth  was  told,  there 
was  a  group  of  folks  in  uniform  in  the  United  States  Army  who 
were  doing  the  same  thing,  working  in  parallel  with  her  efforts  to 
also  assure  that  the  truth  was  told. 

Again,  sir,  we  cannot  bring  back  that  great  young  soldier,  but  we 
did  have  an  obligation  and  I  have  felt  so  from  the  27th  of  February, 
to  record  the  truth  and  tell  it  to  his  family.  I  apologize  to  the  fam- 
ily that  it  took  us  so  long  to  get  it  right.  But  I  ultimately  do  believe 
that  we  got  the  facts  right,  and  the  story  was  told  accurately.  The 
facts  were  not,  in  fact,  covered  up. 

That  is  all  I  have  to  say  about  this,  other  than  to  be  willing  to 
answer  any  questions  that  any  member  might  want  to  pose  to  me. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Thank  you,  General  Griffith.  I  appreciate 
your  candor  and  that  of  Ms.  Lister.  I  think  we  have  come  a  long 
way.  I  do  not  think  we  are  quite  there  yet,  but  we  will  discuss  that 
in  a  minute. 

I  do  think  that  it  should  be  pointed  out  that  it  was  the  Army  In- 
spector General's  office  that  raised  questions  that  ultimately  re- 
sulted in  an  accurate  rendition  of  these  facts  coming  out,  after  the 
second  investigation  concluded  that,  well,  it  essentially  absolved  all 
those  concerned  and  it  was  sent  at  that  point  to  the  Forces  Com- 
mand Staff  Judge  Advocate.  At  that  point,  of  course,  certain  rec- 
ommendations were  made.  Colonel  Starr  was  reprimanded.  Lieu- 
tenant Colonel  Daly  was  reprimanded.  Captain  Friesen  was  rep- 
rimanded. Lieutenant  Wessels  was  admonished.  At  that  point,  as 
I  understand  it,  it  went  to  General  Burba,  is  that  correct? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  Thompson.  He  is  Commander  in  Chief,  Forces  Com- 
mand. General  Burba  made  the  decision  to  withdraw  the  rep- 
rimand of  Captain  Friesen.  He  made  the  decision  not  to  place  Colo- 
nel Starr's  reprimand  in  his  personnel  file,  is  that  correct? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  He  also  made  the  decision  to  file  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly's  reprimand  in  his  personnel  records  jacket,  which  is 
not  a  part  of  the  official  personnel  records  reviewed  for  promotions, 
is  that  correct? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  Thompson.  I  cannot  go  so  far  as  to  commend  the  Gen- 
eral for  making  those  determinations  and  those  decisions,  and  I  as- 
sume that  this  reprimand — well,  of  course,  by  this  time,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Daly  had  already  received  his  recommendation  for  his 
medal,  is  that  correct,  at  the  time  the  reprimand  was  made? 


62 

Ms.  Lister.  I  can  only  believe  so.  I  do  not  know  the  dates,  but 
that  sounds  logical. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Ms.  Lister,  are  you  saying  by  your  testimony 
that  it  may  be  appropriate  to  award  the  Bronze  Star  for  actions  in- 
volving a  fratricide  without  the  "V"  for  valor?  You  mentioned 

Ms.  Lister.  I  am  not  saying  that  it  is  appropriate  to  award  the 
Bronze  Star  for  fratricide.  Absolutely  not.  There  is  a  difference, 
however,  and  I  have  learned  this  in  the  past  month,  between  a 
bronze  star  which  is  given  for  extended  service  and  for  acts  which 
might,  indeed,  have  been  taken  in  connection  with  a  fratricide  but 
were,  in  themselves,  perfectly  appropriate  and  professional.  A  "V" 
for  valor  award  would  never  be  appropriate  in  a  fratricide,  and,  in 
fact,  I  think  I  have  some  discomfort  with  any  award  given  in  con- 
nection with  a  fratricide  except,  of  course,  for  those  who,  indeed, 
did  things  to  save  the  situation. 

Senator  Thompson.  Of  course,  the  facts  of  this  individual  case  or 
these  individual  cases,  you  say,  are  under  review.  Of  course,  they 
have  been  under  review  for  some  time  now,  have  they  not? 

Ms.  Lister.  They  were  supposed  to  be  under  review  beginning 
the  end  of  last  August.  I  doubt  very  much  whether  it  was  started 
then.  I  have  also  since  learned  that  it  is  a  fairly  small  office  that 
does  this,  so  unless  you  keep  making  sure  that  they  are  doing  that 
instead  of  the  10,000  requests  with  respect  to  medals  they  get,  that 
it  does  not  necessarily  take  the  attention  it  deserved.  I  can  assure 
you  it  is  getting  that  attention  now. 

Senator  Thompson.  Do  you  think  we  have  gotten  their  attention? 

Ms.  Lister.  We  have  everybody's  attention. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  Army  was  briefed  last  May,  I  believe,  by 
the  GAO  of  the  essential  facts  of  this  entire  incident,  were  they 
not? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  GAO  report  was  released  in  April  of 
1995.  How  much  longer,  now  that  we  all  basically  agree  on  the 
facts  and  you  agree  with  the  GAO  report,  and  you  have  had  that 
now  essentially  for  over  a  year,  how  much  longer  do  you  think  it 
will  take  the  Army  to  act  with  regard  to  the  personnel  actions  in 
this  case? 

Ms.  Lister.  I  hope  not  too  much  longer.  One  thing  that  hap- 
pened, and  this  was  on  legal  advice,  we  held  off  forwarding  any- 
thing to  the  Commander  of  the  Military  District  of  Washington 
until  we  had  the  final  GAO  report.  I  do  not  think  the  Army  knew 
it  would  take  quite  as  long  as  it  did  to  get  that  final  report.  So 
some  of  the  delay  was  our  waiting  to  see  if  there  was  anything  in 
that  report  which  would  be  significant,  and,  of  course,  the  tapes  are 
quite  significant.  So  that  was  why  there  was  that  delay. 

My  understanding  is  that  the  process  will  move  fairly  quickly 
now,  but,  of  course,  we  have  to  give  the  individual  involved  due 
process  and  he  has  asked  for  an  extension  of  time. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  Army  knew  about  the  tapes  back  in  May 
of  1994? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct.  That  is  when  we  heard  them.  I  was 
there  when  we  heard  them  in  May  of  1994,  but  we  did  not  have 
a  copy 


63 

Senator  Thompson.  What  can  we  say  when  you  say  "under  re- 
view"? You  know  by  now  that  people  will  look  at  that  kind  of  re- 
sponse from  the  Army  or  the  military  or  any  representative  of  Gov- 
ernment, for  that  matter,  on  something  like  this,  under  review, 
under  consideration,  we  will  do  the  right  thing  eventually  and  get 
back  to  you,  it  is  equivalent  to  a  black  hole.  People  have  no  con- 
fidence in  that  kind  of  a  response.  I  assume  you  appreciate  that 
fact,  and  since  the  facts  have  been  on  the  table  all  this  time,  who 
has  to  make  these  decisions?  How  many  people  does  it  have  to  go 
through?  What  is  the  problem  here? 

Ms.  Lister.  I  think  the  Army  was  being  cautious  about  the 
rights  of  individuals,  and  I  can  assure  you,  knowing  General  Grif- 
fith, that  he  would  not  have  let  this  matter  fall  into  a  black  hole. 

General  Griffith.  Could  I  just  pick  up  there,  sir? 

Senator  Thompson.  Yes. 

General  Griffith.  We  had  a  terrible,  terrible  event  take  place  on 
the  desert  the  night  of  the  26th-27th  of  February.  There  is  no  ques- 
tion about  that,  and  we  are  not  proud  of  that.  Unfortunately,  you 
have  tragic  events  in  training  and  on  the  battlefield.  We  will  do  ev- 
erything in  our  power  to  minimize  and,  if  possible  eliminate  those 
in  the  future.  But  there  were  people  who  did  a  lot  of  good  things 
during  that  very  tragic  event. 

There  was  a  First  Lieutenant  by  the  name  of  Wessels,  who,  I 
think,  testified  here  earlier  in  the  day,  who  was  responsible  for  sav- 
ing probably  a  number  of  lives,  and  he  was  given  a  Soldier's  Medal. 
That  is  a  very,  very  high  award.  He  was  recommended  by  my  com- 
mand to  receive  the  Soldier's  Medal.  He  was  also  recommended  for 
a  Bronze  Star  for  his  total  service  with  the  1st  Armored  Division 
during  the  Gulf  War,  and  he  received  a  Bronze  Star.  He  also  re- 
ceived a  superb  OER — Officer  Efficiency  Report — for  his  service. 

On  the  other  side  of  the  event,  there  were  people  who  put  them- 
selves in  harm's  way  trying  to  ascertain  what  was  ground  truth. 
Ground  truth,  I  also  would  say,  sir,  is  very  easy  now  in  a  more 
sterile  environment  than  it  was  for  those  soldiers  that  night.  To 
look  back  and  to  understand  what  happened,  I  would  just  like  to 
talk  a  little  bit  about  the  environment  that  might. 

There  were  soldiers  there  on  that  spot  who  probably  had  not 
slept  in  50  to  60  hours.  We  were  in  a  shamal.  There  were  very 
heavy  sandstorms  and  there  was  heavy  rain  during  this  period.  So 
the  environment  was  not  pleasant. 

Now,  that  is  not  an  excuse.  Soldiers  are  trained,  and  that  is  what 
discipline  and  training  are  all  about,  to  ensure  that  when  you  find 
yourself  in  those  circumstances,  you  still  do  the  right  thing.  Some 
people  did  the  wrong  thing,  but  there  were  some  people  who  did 
the  right  thing.  Some  of  the  soldiers  who  were  given  awards  do  not 
deserve  the  awards  they  were  given,  but  their  acts  were  courageous 
and  their  acts  were  worthy  of  acknowledgement. 

So  I  think,  sir,  that  what  you  see  in  this  circumstance  is  not  that 
there  is  not  a  willingness  to  get  to  the  truth  and  make  sure  that 
we  ultimately  do  the  right  thing,  but  I  think  we  also  want  to  be 
fair  to  those  young  people  out  there  who  did  put  their  lives  at  risk, 
who  did  do  courageous  things,  and  who  did  try  to  sort  out  the 
events  on  the  ground  and  to  minimize  the  potential  for  any  other 
casualties  occurring. 


64 

Senator  THOMPSON.  General,  I  appreciate  that,  but  I  would  sug- 
gest that  you  not  try  to  turn  this  into  a  defense  of  our  brave  young 
fighting  people.  I  mean,  it  was  our  brave  young  fighting  people  that 
got  wounded  and  killed  out  there  that  day  because  of  some  irre- 
sponsible actions  that  officers  took.  I  am  not  second  guessing  their 
action. 

We  started  off  this  hearing  by  pointing  that  out.  We  are  not  here 
to  make  your  life  miserable  or  second  guess  you.  We  appreciate 
you.  We  are  trying  to  help  you.  We  are  trying  to  get  you  to  make 
your  life  a  little  easier  by — I  am  not  talking  about  you  personally, 
I  am  talking  about  the  Army  in  general — by  responding  in  a  time- 
ly, decent  way. 

Timeliness  in  a  case  like  this  is  more  important  than  shuffling 
the  ordinary  paper.  This  family  was  lied  to  for  half  a  year.  That 
makes  this  a  little  bit  more  of  a  priority  and  makes  it  a  little  bit 
more  important  that  it  not  get  lost  in  the  maze. 

I  can  only  imagine  what  it  is  like  out  there  on  the  field,  but  Cap- 
tain Friesen  knows.  Captain  Friesen  was  there,  too.  He  was  there 
first. 

General  GRIFFITH.  I  think  Captain  Friesen  performed  superbly. 

Senator  Thompson.  And  he  said  that  the  situation  was  under 
control.  He  was  mad  as  hell  when  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  came 
blazing  through  there  and  opened  fire  on  these  people,  and  so  were 
the  other  soldiers  there  on  the  ground.  They  knew  that  that  was 
totally  irresponsible  action.  So  we  are  not  criticizing  those  people. 
We  are  criticizing  the  people  who  are  responsible  for  this. 

General  Griffith.  Let  me  give  you  my  assurance,  sir,  that  the 
review  of  the  awards  will  not  languish,  and  we  will  take  appro- 
priate action.  And  when  we  do,  we  will  give  you  a  full  and  detailed 
report  on  the  actions  taken. 

Senator  Thompson.  There  ought  to  be  something  we  can  resolve 
here  today.  I  mean,  we  have  the  people  here  to  resolve  it.  You  just 
talked  about  the  fact  of  Lieutenant  Wessels  and  his  brave  action 
that  he  took.  I  mean,  here  is  a  young  man  who,  as  far  as  the  record 
stands  right  now,  received  an  admonishment  for  what  he  did.  Now 
you  are  General  Griffith  and  you  are  saying  that  he  deserves  a 
medal  and  received  one. 

General  Griffith.  Sir 

Senator  Thompson.  Is  there  any  reason  to  wait  another  year  in 
order  to  remove  the  admonishment  from  this  young  man? 

General  Griffith.  Sir,  I  would  like  to  respond  to  that.  I  was  fully 
aware  of  Lieutenant  Wessels'  performance  when  this  event  took 
place.  I  think  the  record  is  clear.  As  his  commander,  I  approved  the 
award  of  the  Soldier's  Medal  for  his  performance.  He  was  coura- 
geous, he  was  responsible  in  his  actions,  and  his  actions  saved  the 
lives  of  other  soldiers.  As  his  commander,  I  readily  approved  the 
award  of  the  Soldier's  Medal,  which  is  a  very,  very  high  award,  for 
the  actions  that  he  took. 

Also,  I  approved,  and  I  think  probably  signed,  his  Bronze  Star 
for  his  total  service  during  Desert  Shield  and  Desert  Storm.  I  also 
have  reviewed  the  Officer  Efficiency  Report  that  the  Lieutenant  re- 
ceived, and  I  can  tell  you,  sir,  it  was  an  absolutely  superb  report, 
one  that  would  certainly  make  him  competitive  for  anything  he  in- 
tended to  do  as  a  soldier  in  the  Army. 


65 

Sir,  the  record  is  clear  on  what  happened  in  his  command.  I 
would  not  second  guess  the  commander  who  wrote  the  letter,  but 
I  would  say  that,  obviously,  my  judgment  about  his  performance 
was  different. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Who  was  in  a  better  position  to  know  what 
his  performance  was? 

General  Griffith.  Sir,  I  think  that  I  was. 

Senator  Thompson.  Why? 

General  Griffith.  Because  I  was  the  commander  on  the  ground. 

Senator  Thompson.  Ms.  Lister,  you  have  heard  this.  It  sounds  to 
me  like  the  problem  you  have  got  is  the  letter  came  from  a  four- 
star  general,  the  letter  of  admonishment.  Where  does  the  buck 
stop?  You  have  heard  from  General  Griffith.  Where  does  the  buck 
stop  here? 

Ms.  Lister.  It  is  fine  to  have  the  buck  stop  right  here.  Let  me 
say  a  couple  of  things,  though.  First  of  all,  somebody  gave  then- 
Lieutenant  Wessels  bad  advice,  because  the  other  officers  re- 
sponded, which  even  if  you  are  not  supposed  to  do  that,  people  do 
it  and  then  the  General  reconsiders. 

I  have  no  doubt,  judging  by  what  happened  with  the  reprimands, 
that  General  Burba  would  have  reconsidered  if  he  had  heard  Lieu- 
tenant Wessels'  side  of  the  story,  and  I  think  it  is  really  tragic  that 
Lieutenant  Wessels  was  not  given  that  opportunity. 

I  can  say  on  behalf  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Army  and  myself,  and 
I  have  read  enough  to  know  what  Lieutenant  Wessels  did  that 
night,  that  we  would  not  have  given  him  a  letter  of  admonishment, 
whether  it  was  an  official  document  or  not.  I  will  do  something  to 
erase  that.  It  is  not  on  the  record,  of  course.  It  is  only  on  the  record 
because  of  all  these  events.  Normally,  a  letter  of  admonishment  is 
a  personal  thing  that  does  not  go  into  anybody's  official  records, 
and  we  will  do  something  about  that. 

Senator  Thompson.  Well,  apparently  it  did  not  go  into  his  record 
but  it  went  into  his  heart. 

Ms.  Lister.  I  understand  that. 

Senator  Thompson.  The  letter  says,  your  failing  may  have  indi- 
rectly contributed  to  this  tragic  incident.  Of  all  the  testimony  we 
have  heard  today  and  all  the  different  levels  of  responsibility  from 
these  officers,  he  received  this  from  a  four-star  general  who  did  not 
know  anything  about  him  or  what  he  did,  who  was  operating  on 
second-  and  third-hand,  false  information.  You  are  admonished  for 
your  inattention  to  detail. 

Now,  can  you  assure  us  that  you  will  cause  this  to  be  rescinded 
and  this  young  man  apologized  to? 

Ms.  Lister.  I  will  do  what  I  can  to  make  that  happen,  and  I,  my- 
self, feel  it  was  inappropriate 

Senator  Thompson.  I  thought  the  buck  was  going  to  stop 
with 

Ms.  Lister.  It  is.  Since  I  did  not  write  the  letter,  it  is  hard  for 
me  to  make  someone  who  is  retired  rescind  it,  but  I  will  personally 
talk  to  General  Burba. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  am  talking  about  the  Secretary  of  the 
Army  and  I  am  talking  about  you. 

Ms.  Lister.  I  will  certainly  put  my  own — I  will  send  him  a  letter 
that  says,  with  my  position  and  since  I  do  have  authority  to  deal 


66 

with  military  personnel  issues,  that  my  view  of  the  situation  is  that 
the  letter  has  been  revoked. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  apologize  to  him? 

Ms.  Lister.  Certainly. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Let  me  ask  you  about  Colonel  Daly.  We 
know  that  Colonel  Daly  received  the  Bronze  Star  and  it  was  award- 
ed on  the  same  day  that  these  other  medals  for  valor  were  received 
for  the  other  two  men  in  his  vehicle.  When  General  Burba  made 
his  decisions  with  regard  to  not  putting  these  in  certain  files,  as 
I  recall,  he  also  said,  in  effect,  make  sure  these  people  do  not  get 
medals,  did  he  not? 

Ms.  LISTER.  He  certainly  said,  make  sure  this  is  referred  to  the 
Adjutant  General  so  that  all  the  medals  involved  are  reviewed.  Un- 
fortunately, that  was  not  done  and  I  have  asked  why  and  nobody 
knows.  It  was  because  it  went  in  two  different  channels  and  it  just 
was  not  done. 

Senator  Thompson.  Of  course,  by  then,  Colonel  Daly  had  already 
received  his  medal. 

Ms.  Lister.  That  is  correct. 

General  GRIFFITH.  Sir,  could  I  just  pick  up  on  this? 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Yes. 

General  Griffith.  And  again,  this  is  not  being  defensive.  This  is 
to  bring  a  little  more  clarity,  hopefully,  into  this  story. 

I  am  sure  you  are  familiar  with  the  fact,  sir,  that  we  go  back  and 
find  some  soldier,  even  today,  who  did  something  in  World  War  II 
or  in  the  Korean  War  that  was  deserving  of  recognition  and  the  sol- 
dier is  just  now  being  recognized,  and  many  are  never  recognized 
for  what  they  did. 

We  have  all  had  the  experience  over  our  careers  of  seeing  sol- 
diers ultimately  not  getting  the  awards  that  they  are  entitled  to. 
So  one  of  the  things  that  we  committed  to  do  and  did,  sir,  in  the 
Gulf,  that  I  think  was  the  right  thing  to  do,  I  know  I  made  a  per- 
sonal commitment  to  my  soldiers  that  there  would  not  be  a  soldier 
on  an  airplane  going  back  to  Germany,  where  my  division  came 
from,  without  his  award  packet  in  hand — is  that  we  would  have 
soldiers  recognized  for  their  accomplishments  before  we  went  back 
to  our  home  stations,  before  we  went  back  Jio-Germany  and  back 
to  the  CONUS  sites.  So  there  was  a  very,  very  aggressive  effort 
made  to  ensure  that  awards  were  completed  and  given  to  the  sol- 
diers before  they  departed  the  desert,  / 

That  is  not  an  excuse,  sir,  but  I  will  tell  you  that  the  XVIII  Air- 
borne Corps,  which  is  the  unit  the  3rd  Regiment  was  a  part  of,  was 
very  quickly  pulled  out  of  their  positions  after  the  war  and  started 
back  to  the  States. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  General,  I  appreciate  that,  and  I  must  say, 
you  did  an  excellent  job  in  expediting  those  awards.  I  am  not  talk- 
ing about  you  specifically,  again.  And  I  appreciate  what  you  are 
saying,  that  people  who  deserve  awards  ought  to  get  them.  But 
look  at  this  case.  Look  at  this  history  here.  The  history  of  this  case 
ought  to  guide  us  in  the  future. 

Sergeant  Fielder  was  shot  and  killed  on  February  27.  By  March 
4,  and  March  6,  recommendations  for  medals  were  submitted  for 
those  soldiers  involved  in  killing  him,  2  days  before  the  boy  was 
buried.  So  I  would  say  you  moved  pretty  expeditiously  to  get  those 


67 

medals  processed.  I  would  not  worry  about  that  part  of  it.  What  I 
would  worry  about  is  doing  the  right  thing  now  in  rescinding  those 
medals  that  even  you  say  were  not  merited  at  the  time. 

General  Griffith.  Yes,  sir,  and  we  will  do  that.  I  was  trying  to 
give  you  a  flavor  for  what  would  have  caused  a  commander  to 
make  that  type  of  error,  sir,  that  allowed  that  to  happen. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  All  right,  sir.  But  we  know  now  that  the 
medal  was  awarded  to  Lt.  Col.  Daly.  After  that,  General  Burba 
said  in  his  review,  make  sure,  in  effect,  no  medals  are  awarded. 
That  slipped  through  the  cracks.  We  know  now  that  he  let  stand 
the  reprimand,  that  Colonel  Daly  was  actually  reprimanded  for  the 
actions  that  took  place  there  that  night.  Now,  in  light  of  that  and 
all  the  other  facts  surrounding  this  case,  what  can  you  tell  us  today 
about  what  you  intend  to  do  as  far  as  the  award  given  to  Colonel 
Daly? 

Ms.  Lister.  That  award  is  being  reviewed  by  the  Commander  of 
the  Military  District  of  Washington  as  he  looks  at  all  the  cir- 
cumstances surrounding  that  tragic  incident. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  We  have  been  listening  to  the  circumstances 
surrounding  that  tragic  incident  now  all  day.  Have  you  been  listen- 
ing to  the  testimony? 

Ms.  LISTER.  No,  sir,  but  I  have  heard 

Senator  Thompson.  Do  you  not  think  that  might  have  been  a  lit- 
tle bit  helpful?  I  do  not  think  you  could  have  sat  here  and  listened 
to  what  the  rest  of  us  have  listened  to  and  come  to  that  kind  of 
a  response  as  to  what  you  intend  to  do. 

You  agree  with  the  GAO  report.  The  GAO  did  an  excellent  job. 
You  said  that.  You  basically,  essentially  agree  with  everything  they 
have  got  in  it.  They  fought  Colonel  Daly's  activity  up  one  side  and 
down  the  other.  He  has  been  reprimanded.  Colonel  Burba  said  that 
these  people  should  not  receive  medals.  We  know  all  that.  We  have 
been  knowing  all  that.  You  were  briefed  by  the  GAO  back  in  May 
of  1994.  Is  that  the  response  you  want  to  leave  this  Committee 
with,  that  it  is  under  review? 

Ms.  Lister.  Senator,  I  think  what  we  have  to  remember  is  that 
whatever  our  view  of  the  facts,  and  GAO's  view  is  very  consistent 
with  that  of  the  Army,  GAO  also  took  note  of  the  fact  that  we  do 
have  to  worry  about  due  process  for  those  accused  of  being  respon- 
sible. 

Senator  Thompson.  We  all  believe  in  due  process,  but  you  are 
giving  due  process  a  bad  name. 

Ms.  LISTER.  Unfortunately,  that  is  sometimes  the  case  when  due 
process  when  we  feel  we  know  the  facts. 

Senator  Thompson.  I  can  assure  you  that  this  will  not  fall  into 
a  black  hole,  and  I  would  encourage  you  to  make  life  a  little  easier 
on  yourself  and  come  to  some  kind  of  closure  on  this. 

Ms.  Lister.  I  hear  you  loud  and  clear,  Senator,  and  we  certainly 
intend  to  do  so. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Let  me  ask  you  about  the  death  notification. 
You  expressed  your  regret  about  that,  and  I  appreciate  your  candor 
in  that  regard,  but  I  will  push  it  a  little  bit  further  and  ask  you 
why  you  think  it  took  the  Army  6  months  to  tell  these  parents  the 
truth. 


68 

Ms.  Lister.  In  looking  at  it,  and  it  is  not  just  regret,  frankly,  I 
was  shocked,  not  being  around  when  that  happened,  there  were  a 
lot  of  circumstances  that  contributed  to  it.  One  was  that  we  have 
two  chains  with  which  to  notify  higher  authorities  of  a  death.  The 
proper  information  went  up  through  the  chain  of  command,  that 
Sergeant  Fielder  was  killed  as  a  result  of  fratricide. 

The  proper  information  that  was  apparently  attached  to  his  body 
bag  somehow  got  misplaced,  and  so  the  right  information  did  not 
go  back  as  soon  as  it  should  have.  That  is  what  I  gather  from  the 
written  record. 

Beyond  that,  I  understand  that  there  were  problems  with  other 
fratricides,  where  the  Army  did  not  discover  until  it  found  uranium 
traces  that,  in  fact,  the  deaths  were  caused  by  friendly  fire  and  not 
by  Iraqi  troops,  which,  I  understand,  did  not  have  the  same  equip- 
ment and,  therefore,  the  same  tracers  would  not  be  found  on  the 
vehicles. 

So  the  Army  made  a  decision  to  notify  everyone  at  once  of  the 
true  facts  when  it  was  sure  that  it  knew  the  true  facts.  I  believe 
that  was  a  mistake,  but  I  was  not  there,  so  I  can  only  say  it  was 
done  that  way  for  what  I  believe  to  have  been  good  motives.  They 
did  not  want  to  put  people  through  unnecessary  pain  of  getting  the 
facts  piecemeal.  But  that  is  something  we  have  learned  from  and 
that  is  the  only  thing  I  can  say  positive  about  that.  There  is  noth- 
ing positive  to  say  about  not  giving  families  the  truth. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  Was  there  a  decision  to  wait  until  a  certain 
date,  6  months  afterwards  or  any  length  of  afterwards,  to  notify  all 
the  families  of  friendly  fire  victims  at  the  same  time? 

Ms.  Lister.  My  understanding  was  what  happened  was  there 
was  an  investigation  going  on  of  these  other  deaths,  which,  at  first, 
they  thought  were  not  friendly  fire.  I  know  this  from  reading  the 
testimony.  There  were  hearings  on  that  whole  casualty  notification 
process. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  General  Griffith,  can  you  contribute  to  that? 

General  GRIFFITH.  Yes,  sir.  I  believe  we  lost  21  soldiers  in  what 
we  call  fratricide,  friendly  fire.  We  were  victims  of  our  own  commit- 
ment to  determine  absolute  truth  and  to  report  absolute  truth.  I 
think  our  motives  were  right,  but  I  think  our  procedures  were  poor. 

There  was  no  doubt  in  my  mind  on  the  morning  of  the  27th,  that 
Sergeant  Fielder  had  died  from  fire  received  from  the  soldiers  of 
the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment.  I  did  not  need  6  months  of  in- 
vestigation to  make  that  determination.  As  his  commander,  I  knew 
he  had  died  at  the  hands  of  soldiers  of  the  3rd  Regiment. 

The  decision  was  made  in  Washington  and  the  Pentagon  that  we 
would  investigate  thoroughly  every  incident  of  friendly  fire  and 
that  we  would  be  absolutely  certain,  when  we  notified  the  families 
that  their  son  or  daughter  had  died  as  a  result  of  fratricide,  that 
we  had  all  the  facts.  I  personally  think  that  is  the  wrong  approach. 
If  I  were  here  today  and  we  had  another  Desert  Storm,  I  would 
argue  to  let  the  commander  on  the  ground  make  the  determination 
and  trust  the  commander  on  the  ground  to  make  the  appropriate 
call. 

So  yes,  sir,  I  think  our  intent  was  good.  I  think  our  execution 
was  poor. 


69 

Senator  Thompson.  General  Griffith,  Ms.  Shelton  and  Mr.  Field- 
er have  returned  the  medal  that  was  awarded  their  son.  We  would 
request  that  you  take  their  medal  and  ask  you,  since  the  Bronze 
Star  awarded  to  him  has  been  returned  by  the  family,  will  you  con- 
sider making  the  more  proper  award  of  the  Soldier's  Medal? 

General  Griffith.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Thompson.  Will  you  do  that? 

General  Griffith.  Yes,  sir.  That  is  the  more  appropriate  award 
for  Sergeant  Fielder's  actions. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  And  for  anyone  else  involved  in  a  situation 
that  did  not  involve  enemy  forces,  correct? 

General  Griffith.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  THOMPSON.  I  have  several  other  things  here  that  I  was 
going  into,  but  I  really  do  not  see  the  necessity  for  it.  I  think  the 
facts  are  out  and  on  the  table.  You  have  been  forthcoming  here 
today  and  we  appreciate  that.  As  I  say,  we  are  not  here  to  Monday 
morning  quarterback  or  second  guess  or  anything.  You  are  what 
makes  this  country  strong,  and  we  appreciate  you.  We  appreciate 
all  of  you.  But  we  just  have  to  take  care  of  these  situations  when 
they  come  about. 

This  town  should  have  learned  a  long  time  ago  that  trying  to 
delay  the  facts  or  not  face  up  to  the  facts  and  all  of  that  is  the 
worst  thing  in  the  world  you  can  do  because  when  it  starts  to  un- 
ravel and  it  starts  to  come  out,  it  goes  all  the  way.  I  think  you  un- 
derstand that  and  appreciate  that. 

I  think  we  can  all  benefit  from  it  in  the  future,  and  I  think  you 
have  made  some  commitments  here  today  that  are  real  progress  in 
that  regard.  Hopefully,  that  will  contribute  to  the  overall  result 
from  this  hearing,  that  there  will  be  less  likelihood  of  these  trage- 
dies in  the  future.  Some  are  bound  to  occur,  as  you  point  out,  but 
when  they  do,  we  have  the  system  and  the  people  and  the  good  will 
to  deal  with  them  in  an  appropriate  and  effective  manner.  We  ap- 
preciate your  testimony. 

I  am  submitting  a  list  of  exhibits  to  be  included  in  the  record, 
and  we  will  keep  the  record  open  for  a  period  of  30  days  for  addi- 
tional material. 

[The  list  of  exhibits  appears  in  the  Appendix  on  pages  80  to  202.1 

Senator  Thompson.  This  hearing  is  adjourned. 

[Whereupon,  at  2:55  p.m.,  the  Subcommittee  was  adjourned.] 


APPENDIX 


PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  SENATOR  SAM  NUNN 

Thank  you  Mr.  Chairman.  Today  the  Subcommittee  will  consider  the  actions 
taken  by  the  Army  following  the  tragic  friendly  fire  incident  during  the  Persian  Gulf 
War  that  resulted  in  the  death  of  Sergeant  Douglas  Fielder  and  the  wounding  of 
Sergeant  James  Napier. 

At  the  outset,  I  would  like  to  express  my  sympathies  to  the  parents  of  Sergeant 
Fielder — Mrs.  Deborah  Shelton  and  Mr.  Ronald  Fielder — who  are  with  us  today. 
Your  son  died  in  the  service  of  his  country.  Tragically,  his  death  resulted  from 
weapons  fired  by  his  fellow  American  soldiers.  Military  service  is  a  noble  calling. 
Members  of  the  armed  forces  take  great  risks  in  training  and  in  operations  in  order 
to  protect  our  freedoms.  The  risk  of  death  from  accident,  error,  or  negligence  is  al- 
ways present,  but  it  is  incumbent  upon  the  armed  forces  to  take  every  reasonable 
step  in  terms  of  training  and  doctrine  to  avoid  harm  from  one's  fellow  soldiers. 

The  tragedy  of  Sergeant  Fielder's  death  was  compounded  by  the  Army  through 
misinformation  related  to  you  about  the  cause  of  his  death,  a  series  of  defective  in- 
vestigations, and  questionable  decisions  concerning  awards  and  decorations  issued 
in  connection  with  the  incident.  These  are  the  issues  we  are  to  address  today. 

The  recent  report  issued  by  the  General  Accounting  Office  detailed  a  number  of 
troubling  findings  regarding  the  AR  15-6  investigations.  It  stated  the  investigations 
were  inaccurate  and  incomplete  and  were  tainted  by  command  influence.  While  I 
believe  that,  in  large  measure,  the  process  works,  some  adjustments  to  the  AR  15- 
6  process  are  in  order.  The  services  must  be  willing  to  assign  responsibility,  answer 
the  tough  questions  and,  by  doing  so,  maintain  the  public  trust. 

As  a  result  of  the  GAO  report  on  this  incident,  the  Army  is  conducting  ongoing 
proceedings  related  to  potential  disciplinary  and  administrative  action  with  respect 
to  individuals  involved  in  this  incident.  I  know,  Mr.  Chairman,  that  you  have  en- 
deavored to  structure  these  proceedings  so  as  to  not  interfere  with  the  conduct  of 
those  proceedings. 

The  issues  before  us  relate  to  lessons  that  can  be  learned  from  this  incident  and 
its  aftermath  for  the  future.  In  particular,  we  should  endeavor  to  answer  the  follow- 
ing questions  in  this  hearing: 

First,  what  changes  have  been  made  in  the  procedures  governing  the  con- 
duct and  review  of  Army  investigations  to  improve  their  timeliness,  quality 
and  accuracy,  to  reduce  the  influence  of  command  to  ensure  impartiality 
and  to  assign  accountability? 

Second,  how  can  we  improve  the  notification  process  for  casualty  informa- 
tion to  preclude  a  repetition  of  the  provision  of  erroneous  information  to 
families? 

Third,  what  can  be  done  to  provide  families  with  greater  access  to  infor- 
mation? 

Finally,  what  procedures  can  be  implemented  governing  awards  and  deco- 
rations to  ensure  that  their  accuracy  is  unquestioned  and  that  the  review 
process  takes  into  account  the  facts  and  circumstances  surrounding  the 
awards? 

I  believe  the  public  must  have  faith  that  our  armed  services  are  capable  of  polic- 
ing themselves  with  the  same  vigor  and  professionalism  with  which  they  defend  our 
nation.  I  know  that  the  Senate  Armed  Services  Committee,  on  which  I  serve  as 
Ranking  Minority  Member,  has  followed  these  matters  closely  and  will  be  very  in- 
terested in  our  discussion  today.  While  the  Subcommittee  is  focusing  on  a  single  in- 
cident, the  findings  and  recommendations  made  here  will  have  broader  impact  con- 
sidering the  number  of  recent  high  profile  incidents.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman. 

(71) 


72 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  RICHARD  C.  STIENER 

Mr.  Chairman  and  Members  of  the  Subcommittee: 

We  are  pleased  to  be  here  today  to  discuss  our  April  1995  report J  concerning  our 
investigation  of  events  leading  to  a  fratricide  incident  during  the  Persian  Gulf  War. 
We  also  assessed  the  adequacy  of  U.S.  Army  investigations  following  the  incident 
and  investigated  allegations  that  Army  officials  hindered  those  investigations  or  in- 
fluenced their  outcome.  The  fratricide  involved  engineers  attached  to  the  Army's  1st 
Armored  Division  (AD)  and  elements  of  the  Army  s  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment 
(ACR).  One  U.S.  soldier— Army  Sergeant  Douglas  Lance  Fielder2— was  unintention- 
ally killed;  a  second— Sergeant  James  E.  Napier — was  wounded. 

In  summary,  several  critical  factors  resulted  in  the  fratricide.  The  3rd  ACR's  oper- 
ation plans  and  operation  orders  were  incomplete  and  confusing,  in  part,  because 
they  did  not  contain  current  intelligence  information.  Further,  coordination  along 
the  U.S.  Army  Corps  boundary  line  had  disintegrated  resulting  in  elements  of  the 
3rd  ACR  crossing  into  a  sector  known  to  be  controlled  by  the  1st  AD.  More  impor- 
tantly, the  3rd  ACR  commanders  did  not  maintain  command  and  control  of  their 
units. 

The  3rd  ACR's  AR  (Army  Regulation)  15-6  investigation  of  the  incident,  which 
consisted  of  three  investigative  efforts,  found  the  3rd  ACR  commanders  not  respon- 
sible for  the  incident.  We  question  the  completeness  and  accuracy  of  these  investiga- 
tions. However,  we  found  no  evidence  of  intentional  document  destruction,  witness 
intimidation,  or  witness  retaliation. 

The  AR  15-6  investigation  was  reviewed  by  the  Forces  Command  Staff  Judge  Ad- 
vocate, who  recommended  that  three  3rd  ACR  officers  be  reprimanded  and  the  engi- 
neers Executive  Officer  be  admonished.  However,  at  the  discretion  of  the  Com- 
mander in  Chief,  Forces  Command,  two  reprimands  were  not  made  part  of  the  offi- 
cers' official  military  personnel  files,  the  third  was  withdrawn,  and  the  admonish- 
ment was  allowed  to  stand. 

Further,  we  determined  that  several  3rd  ACR  personnel  received  heroism  awards, 
related  to  the  incident,  that  were  based  on  misleading  statements  and  inaccurate 
information. 

THE  INCIDENT 

On  August  2,  1990,  Iraqi  military  forces  invaded  the  emirate  of  Kuwait.  They  re- 
fused to  withdraw  by  the  United  Nations-imposed  deadline  of  midnight,  Eastern 
Standard  Time,  January  15,  1991. 

U.S.  and  allied  forces  thus  implemented  Operation  Desert  Storm  on  January  17, 
1991,  beginning  with  an  extensive  air  campaign.  The  ground  war  began  on  February 
24,  1991,  and  ended  February  28,  1991,  when  allied  commanders  declared  a  cease- 
fire. 

At  approximately  2:30  a.m.  (Persian  Gulf  Time)  on  February  27,  1991,  near  Umm 
Haiul,  Iraq,  elements  of  the  3rd  ACR,  while  attacking  an  Iraqi  airfield,  crossed  a 
U.S.  Army  corps  boundary  line  into  a  sector  known  to  be  controlled  by  the  1st  AD. 
According  to  the  I  Troop  Commander  of  the  3rd  Squadron,  Captain  Bodo  Friesen, 
he  initially  ordered  the  gunner  of  his  M1A1  Abrams  Main  Battle  Tank  to  fire  warn- 
ing shots  away  from  suspected  Iraqi  ground  troops.  Those  troops  were  instead  the 
engineers  of  Charlie  Company  who  were  awaiting  recovery  of  their  disabled  vehicle. 
The  two  engineers  who  were  observing  the  3rd  Squadron's  vehicles  stated  that  they 
attempted  to  identify  themselves  before  and  after  they  were  fired  upon  and  they 
saw  no  warning  shots.  They  claimed  the  first  shots  were  fired  directly  at  them.  Im- 
mediately on  firing  the  warning  shots,  Captain  Friesen's  tank  driver  and  gunner  re- 
ported return  fire  from  the  engineers'  position,  a  claim  the  engineers  and  other  ^rd 
Squadron  troops  dispute.  Captain  Friesen  ordered  his  gunner  and  two  Bradley 
Fighting  Vehicles  (Bradley)  to  fire.  A  cease-fire  was  then  called.  Sergeant  Napier 
was  wounded  during  this  firing  sequence. 

While  I  Troop  elements  were  developing  and  engaging  the  targets,  the  3rd  Squad- 
ron Commander,  Lt.  Colonel  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.,  moved  into  the  engagement  area. 
Once  at  the  scene,  he  did  not  ask  for  Captain  Friesen's  assessment  of  the  situation, 
which  at  that  point  appeared  to  the  Captain  to  be  under  control.  In  addition,  when 
one  of  two  troops  riding  in  Lt.  Colonel  Daly's  Bradley  asked  to  dismount  in  order 
to  confront  the  suspected  Iraqi  troops,  Lt.  Colonel  Daly  dismounted  the  two  without 
coordinating  his  actions  with  Captain  Friesen  or  any  of  his  subordinate  units.  This 
dangerously  exposed  the  dismounts  to  the  risk  of  fratricide.  Further  relying  on  his 


1  Operation  Desert  Storm:  Investigation  of  a  U.S.  Army  Fratricide  Incident  (GAO/OSI-95-10, 
Apr.  7,  1995). 

2  Corporal  Fielder  was  promoted  posthumously  to  Sergeant  effective  Feb.  26,  1991. 


73 

Bradley  gunner's  assessment,  Lt.  Colonel  Daly  ordered  his  gunner  to  fire  at  an 
unconfirmed  target.  Specialist  Fielder  was  killed  during  this  firing  sequence.  Sec- 
onds before  the  Bradley  gunner  fired,  1st  Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels,  the  engineers' 
Executive  Officer,  had  fired  a  green  star  cluster  to  illuminate  the  area.  Unknown 
to  Lieutenant  Wessels  at  the  time,  a  green  star  cluster  was  a  daytime  ground-to- 
ground  antifratricide  recognition  signal. 

We  estimate  that  the  time  between  the  first  shots  and  the  fatal  shots  was  7  min- 
utes 15  seconds.  We  also  estimate  that  25  minutes  elapsed  between  when  I  Troop, 
3rd  Squadron,  first  misidentified  the  engineers  and  their  identification  as  U.S. 
troops. 

Among  the  critical  factors  resulting  in  the  fratricide  were  the  3rd  ACR's  Oper- 
ation Plan  and  Operation  Order  for  the  February  27,  1991,  mission;  they  were  in- 
complete and  contained  contradictory,  outdated  intelligence  information  about 
enemy  presence.  Further,  coordination  between  the  VII  Corps  and  XVIII  Airborne 
Corps  along  the  boundary  had  disintegrated.  In  addition,  maps  used  by  the  3rd  ACR 
commanders  and  troops  in  preparation  for  the  mission  were  outdated  and  did  not 
accurately  depict  the  3rd  ACR's  objective.  Communication  failures — from  the  3rd 
ACR  through  the  squadrons  to  the  troops — also  contributed  to  the  confusion  leading 
to  the  incident. 

However,  of  greater  consequence,  both  the  3rd  ACR  Commander,  Colonel  Douglas 
Starr,  and  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander,  Lt.  Colonel  Daly,  failed  to  maintain  com- 
mand and  control  of  their  subordinate  units:  They  did  not  ensure  subordinates' 
knowledge  of  their  southern  boundary,  past  which  they  knew  friendly  forces  might 
be  located.  They  did  not  determine  their  and  their  units'  positions  relative  to  the 
boundary.  Furthermore,  Lt.  Colonel  Daly  did  not  abide  by  the  stated  rules  of  en- 
gagement, which  were  not  to  fire  unless  fired  upon  and  not  to  fire  below  the  bound- 
ary. 

INCOMPLETE,  INACCURATE  INVESTIGATIONS 

Within  hours,  the  3rd  ACR  initiated  an  AR  15-6  investigation.  By  regulation, 
such  investigations  are  to  be  thorough  and  impartial  and  make  recommendations 
as  warranted  by  the  facts.  The  first  Investigating  Officer,  in  both  his  initial  inves- 
tigation and  his  subsequent  reinvestigation,  found  that  all  personnel  had  acted  re- 
sponsibly and  recommended  that  all  be  absolved  of  any  criminal  or  administrative 
responsibility  for  the  incident.  The  54th  Engineer  Battalion  Commander  and  the  VII 
Corps  Staff  Judge  Advocate  reviewed  the  results  of  the  first  two  investigative  efforts 
and  raised  additional  questions.  As  a  result,  in  October  1991  the  XVIII  Airborne 
Corps  directed  that  a  supplemental  AR  15-6  investigation  be  conducted.  The  second 
Investigating  Officer  concurred  that  all  involved  individuals  had  acted  responsibly 
and  recommended  that  they  be  absolved  of  all  responsibility  for  the  incident. 

Among  other  shortcomings,  both  Investigating  Officers  overlooked  numerous  docu- 
ments and  other  information,  including  an  audio  tape  recording  of  the  incident  that 
we  located.  They  did  not  elicit  evidence  that  some  3rd  Squadron  personnel — includ- 
ing crew  members  aboard  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander's  Bradley — had  recognized 
U.S.  vehicles  before  the  fatal  shots  were  fired.  Both  misstated  facts,  such  as  that 
the  engineers  were  not  wearing  Kevlar  helmets  or  Load  Bearing  Equipment  that 
would  have  aided  identification.  Neither  Investigating  Officer  attempted  to  confirm 
statements  concerning  return  fire.  Neither  investigators'  conclusions  and  rec- 
ommendations— which  absolved  all  participants  of  any  responsibility — were  sup- 
ported by  the  evidence  available. 

Later,  a  Forces  Command  Staff  Judge  Advocate,  at  the  direction  of  the  Com- 
mander in  Chief,  Headquarters  Forces  Command,  performed  a  legal  review  and 
analyses  of  the  report  of  investigation.  He  stated  to  us  his  supposition  that  the  sec- 
ond Investigating  Officer  had  a  "skewed"  objectivity  and  a  predetermined  conclusion 
concerning  the  case.  This  coincides  with  the  results  of  recent  GAO  and  Department 
of  Defense  (DOD)  studies  that  questioned  the  independence  of  command-directed  in- 
vestigations.3 That  type  of  an  investigation,  according  to  a  1994  DOD  study,  is 
"most  subject  to  abuse";  and  the  investigators  who  conduct  them  "are  more  subject 
to  command  influence." 

The  Forces  Command  Staff  Judge  Advocate  recommended  reversing  the  two  In- 
vestigating Officers'  findings,  noting,  among  other  failings,  the  involved  3rd  ACR  of- 
ficers' "negligent"  actions  that  placed  their  soldiers  at  risk  and  their  "dereliction  of 
duty"  for  assuming  that  personnel  in  a  rear  area  were  enemy.  Based  on  his  rec- 


3 Military  Training  Deaths:  Need  to  Ensure  That  Safety  Lessons  Are  Learned  and  Implemented 
(GAO/NSIAD-94-82,  May  5,  1994)  and  "Report  of  the  Advisory  Board  on  the  Investigative  Ca- 
pability of  the  Department  of  Defense,"  1994. 


74 

ommendations,  three  3rd  ACR  officers  were  issued  letters  of  reprimand;  the  engi- 
neers' Executive  Officer  was  issued  a  memorandum  of  admonition.  After  those  rep- 
rimanded replied  to  the  reprimands,  the  Commander  in  Chief,  Forces  Command, 
General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  at  his  discretion,  directed  that  two  reprimands  not  be 
made  part  of  the  officers'  permanent  military  files  and  that  the  third  be  withdrawn. 

NO  EVIDENCE  OF  INTENTIONAL  HINDRANCE  IN  INVESTIGATIONS 

During  our  investigation,  we  interviewed  over  108  current  and  former  U.S.  Army 
and  Air  Force  personnel  who  were  directly  or  indirectly  involved  in  the  February 
27,  1991,  fratricide  incident.  We  also  reviewed,  among  other  items,  records  and  doc- 
uments at  the  corps,  division,  regimental,  and  squadron  levels;  the  entire  AR  15- 
6  investigation  and  its  reviews;  and  two  related  U.S.  Army  Inspector  General  inves- 
tigations. We  found  no  evidence  of  intentional  document  destruction,  witness  intimi- 
dation, or  retaliation  against  witnesses. 

QUESTIONABLE  HEROISM  AWARDS 

During  our  investigation,  we  learned  that  heroism  awards  related  directly  to  the 
fratricide  incident  had  been  given  to  three  officers  and  several  men  of  the  3rd  ACR. 
These  awards  were  based  on  misleading  statements  and  misrepresentations  made 
by  the  3rd  ACR  Commander,  Colonel  Starr,  and  the  3rd  Squadron  Commander,  Lt. 
Colonel  Daly.  Award  support  documents  for  the  officers  referred  to  "enemy"  pres- 
ence and  "hostile  fire"  during  the  fratricide  incident.  Two  of  the  awards  indicated 
the  actions  had  occurred  at  an  airfield  about  28  kilometers  from  the  incident  site. 
In  May  1994,  we  briefed  the  Army  on  our  investigative  findings,  including  those 
concerning  the  heroism  awards.  Following  that  briefing,  the  Army  Office  of  Inspec- 
tor General  (OIG)  analyzed  the  awards.  In  August  1994,  the  Army  OIG  requested 
the  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army  for  Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs  to  revoke 
the  awards  as  the  "award  recommendations  revealed  that  they  were  not  in  contact 
with  an  armed  enemy." 

REVIEW  OF  ARMY  INSPECTOR  GENERAL'S  INVESTIGATIONS 

We  also  assessed  the  adequacy  of  two  U.S.  Army  OIG  investigations  related  to 
this  incident.  The  first  investigation  focused  on  allegations  of  an  intentional  cover- 
up  by  Army  officials  in  the  reporting  of  the  friendly  fire  death  of  Sergeant  Fielder. 
After  careful  review,  we  believe  that  the  evidence  the  Army  OIG  found  supported 
its  conclusion  that  no  one  within  the  Department  of  the  Army  intentionally  withheld 
or  attempted  to  cover  up  the  friendly  fire  death  of  Sergeant  Fielder.  We  also  agree 
with  the  OIG's  conclusion  that  instead,  systemic  problems  within  the  Army's  notifi- 
cation process — including  poor  communication  and  training  of  personnel — caused 
confusion  and  resulted  in  suspicions  of  a  cover-up. 

The  OIG's  second  investigation  addressed  allegations  of  abandonment  and  cow- 
ardice on  the  part  of  the  commanding  officer  of  Charlie  Company,  54th  Engineer 
Battalion.  After  review,  we  believe  that  the  evidence  the  OIG  found  supported  its 
conclusion  that  these  allegations  were  not  substantiated. 

We  also  reviewed  the  Army  OIG  inquiry  into  the  heroism  awards  for  its  content. 
Even  though  the  Army  OIG  recommended  the  revocation  of  the  awards,  it  indicated 
that  it  had  found  "no  evidence  that  any  individual  falsified  information  in  the 
awards  recommendations."  However,  we  found  that  several  of  the  support  docu- 
ments justifying  the  awards  contained  misleading  statements  and  misrepresenta- 
tions that  were  submitted  by  those  directly  involved  in  the  fratricide  incident. 

RECOMMMENDATIONS 

In  our  April  1995  report,  we  recommended  that  the  Secretary  of  the  Army  (1)  re- 
examine for  their  appropriateness,  the  disciplinary  actions  taken  regarding  this  frat- 
ricide incident  and  the  disposition  of  those  actions  and  (2)  follow  up  on  the  Army 
OIG  request  that  improperly  supported  awards  for  participation  in  fratricide  inci- 
dents be  revoked.  At  this  time  we  have  not  received  an  official  response  to  our  rec- 
ommendations. 


This  completes  my  prepared  remarks.  I  would  now  welcome  any  comments  or 
questions  that  you  may  have. 


75 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  KEVIN  J.  WESSELS 

My  name  is  Kevin  Wessels.  During  Operation  Desert  Storm,  I  was  a  first  lieuten- 
ant attached  to  the  54th  Engineering  Battalion,  United  States  Army.  We  were  re- 
sponsible for  moving  ammunition  and  other  logistics  support  for  the  2nd  Brigade  as 
it  advanced  in  the  war.  I  also  had  the  privilege  of  commanding  Corporal  Lance 
Fielder  and  three  other  enlisted  men  during  the  devastating  attack  on  our  position 
that  is  the  subject  of  this  hearing. 

On  February  26,  1991,  our  M548  ammunition  carrier  broke  down.  While  awaiting 
recovery,  we  pulled  off  to  the  side  of  a  main  thoroughfare  known  as  a  "log  line"  or 
logistics  line.  Although  this  seemed  to  be  a  relatively  safe  position,  since  American 
trucks  were  continually  passing  within  50  feet  of  us  for  most  of  the  night,  I  still 
posted  a  two-man  guard.  In  the  early  hours  of  the  morning,  those  guards  recognized 
approaching  American  vehicles,  including  several  Bradleys  and  a  tank.  To  this  day 
I  will  never  understand  why  if  we  took  the  time  to  watch  and  listen  to  the  approach- 
ing vehicles,  they  were  unable  to  look  at  us  more  carefully  before  firing. 

At  approximately  three  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  February  27,  1991,  I  was  awak- 
ened by  the  sound  of  gunfire  and  one  of  my  men  screaming,  "Sir,  the  Americans 
are  shooting  at  us!"  Within  seconds,  another  round  of  fire  ripped  through  our  vehi- 
cles as  we  scrambled  for  cover.  It  was  at  this  point  that  one  of  my  men,  Sergeant 
James  Napier,  was  hit  in  the  leg  as  he  tried  to  escape.  A  trailer  loaded  with  ammu- 
nition started  to  burn,  with  some  of  the  rounds  detonating  as  the  fire  spread. 

Specialist  Craig  Walker  ran  to  Sgt.  Napier  and  carried  him  to  safety  near  Cor- 
poral Lance  Fielder  and  Specialist  Robert  Driben.  While  Corporal  Fielder,  Specialist 
Walker,  and  Specialist  Driben  attended  to  the  wounds  sustained  by  Sgt.  Napier,  I 
ran  back  to  my  Humvee  (HMMWV)  and  got  on  my  radio,  announcing  on  several  dif- 
ferent command  frequencies  that  we  were  being  fired  upon  by  our  own  troops. 

When  the  third  round  of  fire  started,  I  crawled  back  behind  the  M548  ammunition 
carrier. 

When  the  firing  stopped,  I  ran  back  to  the  Humvee,  trying  desperately  again  to 
reach  someone  over  the  radio  who  could  help  us.  I  had  no  luck  in  contacting  anyone. 

When  the  fourth  round  of  fire  began,  I  grabbed  a  flare  and  crawled  back  behind 
the  M548  ammunition  carrier.  When  the  shooting  let  up,  I  fired  the  flare.  I  hoped 
that  it  was  a  parachute  flare,  which  would  illuminate  the  area  long  enough  for  us 
to  be  identified  as  Americans.  It  turned  out  to  be  a  green  star  cluster,  and  extin- 
guished quickly.  Later  on  I  would  be  criticized  for  using  the  daytime  friendly  forces 
recognition  signal,  a  green  cluster,  instead  of  the  nighttime  signal,  a  white  cluster. 
Not  only  had  I  never  been  briefed  on  these  signals,  I  didn't  even  have  a  white  clus- 
ter. The  truth  is,  I  was  trying  to  light  up  the  sky  in  attempt  to  save  my  men,  and 
I  was  too  busy  to  take  an  inventory  of  my  pyrotechnic  devices. 

Soon,  a  fifth  blast  of  gunfire  came  from  the  Americans.  When  the  barrage  stopped, 
I  saw  American  armored  vehicles  moving  to  our  side.  I  quickly  recognized  that  we 
would  no  longer  have  the  protection  of  the  M548,  but  would  be  caught  in  a  deadly 
cross-fire  if  the  American  unit  maneuvering  to  our  side  began  firing.  I  became 
acutely  aware  of  the  fact  that  if  I  didn't  do  something  immediately,  all  five  of  us 
would  surely  be  killed.  At  this  point  I  turned  on  my  red-lensed  flashlight,  stood  with 
my  hands  over  my  head,  and  walked  slowly  forward  to  the  nearest  Bradley  armored 
vehicle.  The  gunner  of  the  Bradley,  who  had  his  50-caliber  machine  gun  pointed 
straight  at  my  chest,  yelled,  "You  better  be  American!"  I  will  spare  you  my  initial 
response  and  simply  say  that  he  was  stunned  to  find  out  that  I  actually  was. 

A  captain  from  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  (3rd  ACR),  whose  guns  had 
been  firing  at  us,  walked  back  with  me  to  where  my  men  were  located.  It  was  then 
I  learned  that  one  of  my  finest  soldiers,  Corporal  Lance  Fielder,  had  been  hit  twice 
during  that  last  round  of  fire.  I  was  deeply  saddened  by  the  realization  that  Lance 
Fielder  had  been  killed.  It  was  a  tragedy  that  never  should  have  happened. 

I  immediately  called  our  brigade  Medivac.  I  could  only  get  one  helicopter  and,  in 
accordance  with  Army  policy,  they  would  not  carry  a  dead  soldier  and  a  wounded 
soldier  in  the  same  helicopter.  The  3rd  ACR  captain  called  for  their  helicopter  that 
would  take  Sgt.  Napier  and  Cpl.  Fielder  together.  I  filled  out  a  Casualty  Feeder  Re- 
port and  stated  that  Cpl.  Fielder  had  been  killed  by  friendly  fire.  The  helicopter  ap- 
parently blew  the  first  report  away,  so  I  filled  out  another  one,  again  stating  that 
the  death  was  a  result  of  friendly  fire.  I  was  shocked  to  learn  that  Cpl.  Fielder's 
parents  were  later  told  that  he  had  been  killed  by  Iraqi  forces. 

Within  a  few  hours,  an  AR  15-6  investigation  into  this  incident  began.  Captain 
David  Jacquot  was  assigned  the  task  of  conducting  the  investigation.  He  did  not  ask 
me  any  questions.  He  simply  requested  that  I  write  a  statement  describing  the  inci- 
dent. That  was  the  only  time  I  have  been  permitted  to  make  a  full  statement  about 
this  incident  until  this  Senate  hearing.  The  remainder  of  the  Army's  investigation 


\ 


76 

was  very  frustrating  as  I  felt  I  was  being  questioned  in  such  a  way  as  to  ensure 
certain  specific  answers.  For  example,  several  months  after  the  incident,  I  was 
interviewed  over  the  phone  by  Brigadier  General  Nicholas  Halley.  He  asked  me 
about  the  different  colors  of  flares  and  lights  that  are  used  as  recognition  signals. 
He  did  not  seem  interested  at  all  in  the  discrepancies  and  conflicting  statements  I 
attempted  to  point  out  that  occurred  during  the  AR  15-6  investigation.  He  just  said, 
"Thanks  very  much,"  and  hung  up.  I  felt  General  Halley  was  looking  for  specific  an- 
swers that  would  relieve  the  3rd  ACR  of  any  responsibility  for  their  numerous  blun- 
ders. 

Upon  reading  the  various  reports  of  this  incident,  I  was  astounded  to  learn  that, 
in  an  attempt  to  justify  their  actions,  members  of  the  3rd  ACR  claimed  my  men  re- 
turned fire.  Let  me  make  one  point  very  clear.  Neither  I,  nor  any  of  my  men,  ever 
fired  a  single  shot.  Why  would  we?  We  knew  that  the  soldiers  shooting  at  us  were 
Americans.  At  no  time  did  Captain  Jacquot  or  anyone  else  ever  check  even  one  of 
our  weapons  to  determine  if  they  had  been  fired.  If  they  had,  they  would  have  found 
that  the  weapons  were  full  of  dust. 

In  late  1991  and  again  in  early  1992,  I  was  interviewed  during  an  Army  Inspector 
General  investigation  that  I  was  told  was  being  conducted  to  determine  the  facts 
and  circumstances  surrounding  the  reporting  of  the  death  of  Corporal  Fielder.  How- 
ever, by  April  20,  1992,  the  focus  of  the  investigation  had  shifted  to  investigating 
"allegations  of  improprieties  related  to  command  and  control  issues  within  the  1st 
Armored  Division  and  the  54th  Engineering  Battalion."  In  other  words,  my  actions 
were  now  being  investigated.  Two  weeks  later,  I  was  slapped  with  a  Letter  of  Ad- 
monishment from  General  Edwin  Burba.  General  Burba  wasn't  even  in  my  chain 
of  command.  Unlike  others  who  had  received  letters  of  reprimand,  I  was  given  no 
opportunity  to  respond.  This  letter  was  devastating  to  me.  It  stated  that  I  may  have 
indirectly  contributed  to  the  death  of  Lance  Fielder.  Since  the  day  I  received  that 
letter,  those  words  have  been  etched  in  my  mind.  I  ask  each  of  you  to  imagine  how 
such  a  letter  would  affect  you,  after  seeing  your  men  and  equipment  torn  apart  by 
gunfire  coming  from  what  you  knew  to  be  other  American  forces.  The  actions  I  took 
that  night  were  with  one  single  thought  in  mind — do  whatever  it  takes  to  save  the 
lives  of  my  men  from  an  awesome  amount  of  American  firepower.  As  I  sit  here  today 
I  can  assure  this  panel,  the  Army,  and  most  importantly,  the  parents  of  Lance 
Fielder,  that  I  did  everything  in  my  power  to  protect  my  men  and  stop  the  attack. 
I  will  regret  for  the  rest  of  my  life  that  I  was  unsuccessful  in  that  effort. 

Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  appear  before  you  today.  I  will  be  happy  to  an- 
swer any  questions  you  may  have. 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  BO  H.  FRIESEN 

I  appreciate  the  opportunity  to  appear  before  the  Subcommittee  here  today,  and 
I  am  very  grateful  for  the  fact  that  the  Subcommittee  is  reviewing  this  tragic  inci- 
dent. Quite  simply,  this  never  should  have  happened.  I  will  give  you  my  viewpoint 
of  what  occurred  that  night.  I  was  a  member  of  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment 
(or  3rd  ACR),  and  the  commander  of  nine  M1A1  Abrams  tanks  along  with  twelve 
Bradley  Fighting  Vehicles.  It  was  my  tank  and  two  Bradleys  who  first  approached 
the  engineers  and  their  disabled  vehicles. 

It  is  important  to  state  that  I  deeply  regret  the  events  of  that  night,  and  like 
Kevin  Wessels,  I  will  have  to  live  with  that  memory  for  the  rest  of  my  life.  But  it 
is  also  important  to  note  that  given  the  situation,  and  the  information  with  which 
I  was  provided  by  my  commanders,  I  acted  with  extreme  caution.  Let  me  explain 
what  I  mean. 

Our  objective  that  night  was  to  seize  the  Umm  Hajul  airfield.  My  squadron  com- 
mander, Lt.  Col.  John  Daly,  briefed  me  that  our  unit  would  be  the  most  forward 
one  in  the  area.  Further,  I  was  told  that  the  airfield  we  were  attacking  was  being 
defended  by  a  heavily  dug-in  battalion  of  Iraqi  soldiers.  Lt.  Col.  Daly  never  even 
mentioned  the  possibility  of  friendly  forces  in  the  area. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly  directed  the  use  of  a  diamond  assault  formation.  The  significance 
of  this  is  that  there  is  no  reconnaissance  whatsoever  out  in  front.  This  formation 
placed  the  maximum  tank  firepower  forward.  The  sole  purpose  of  this  formation  is 
to  destroy  confirmed  enemy  positions.  This  clearly  indicated  to  me  that  we  would 
not  encounter  friendly  forces  at  any  time  during  our  operation. 

Lt.  Col.  Daly  sent  the  squadron  on  a  blind  attack  into  an  uncertain  area.  This 
was  a  clear  violation  of  basic  tactical  principles.  The  use  of  this  type  of  formation 
alone  confirmed  in  my  mind  that  we  would  likely  encounter  heavy  resistance  by 
Iraqi  forces  on  the  airfield  we  were  approaching. 

As  we  were  approaching  the  airfield,  my  troop  discovered  what  I  now  know  to  be 
Lt.  Wessels's  unit.  Based  on  the  intelligence  briefings  I  had  received,  I  assumed  that 


77 

he  and  his  men  were  Iraqi  soldiers.  Initially,  after  obtaining  Lt.  Col.  Daly's  permis- 
sion, I  ordered  that  warning  shots  be  fired.  After  this  it  is  my  firm  belief  that  we 
began  receiving  return  fire  from  the  suspected  enemy  force.  As  we  just  heard  from 
Kevin  Wessels,  this  was  not  the  case.  All  I  can  offer  to  him,  and  his  men,  is  that 
we  truly  believed  that  to  be  so. 

We  then  returned  fire  in  order  to  suppress  what  we  thought  were  enemy  forces. 
After  we  had  expended  what  I  believed  to  be  the  maximum  amount  of  necessary 
force,  I  ordered  a  cease  fire.  The  soldiers,  who  we  still  thought  were  Iraqis,  no 
longer  posed  a  threat.  They  were  silent.  We  were  heavily  armed  and  could  have  eas- 
ily destroyed  the  small  group  of  soldiers  in  a  matter  of  seconds.  They  had  no  place 
to  escape  to,  we  had  them  contained  on  flat  terrain  and  could  easily  have  captured 
them  if  they  had  tried  to  escape.  Even  assuming  they  were  Iraqis,  shooting  them 
at  this  time  would  have  been  totally  unjustified. 

At  this  point,  confusion  broke  out  as  Lt.  Col.  Daly's  command  group,  which  in- 
cluded three  Bradleys  and  a  number  of  smaller  vehicles,  pulled  up  unannounced  on 
my  left.  Some  of  my  men  believed  his  vehicles  were  Iraqi  and  nearly  fired  on  them. 
Another  disaster  was  narrowly  averted.  Later,  in  a  similar  display  of  poor  command 
judgment,  Lt.  Col.  Daly  allowed  two  of  his  men  to  leave  his  Bradley  and  cross  imme- 
diately in  front  of  our  guns.  One  of  his  soldiers  soon  became  lost  and  wandered  over 
to  another  Bradley.  For  that  brilliant  display  of  military  navigation,  I  believe  he  re- 
ceived the  Bronze  Star  with  "V"  device  for  valor.  We  had  no  idea  where  these  men 
came  from:  we  initially  thought  they  were  Iraqis,  and  once  again,  we  came  within 
a  razor's  edge  of  shooting  them. 

As  I  continued  to  monitor  the  situation,  I  could  see  clearly  through  my  thermal 
sights  one  soldier  in  Kevin's  unit  assisting  a  fellow  soldier  to  a  safer  location.  Nei- 
ther soldier  was  carrying  a  weapon.  I  heard  Lt.  Col.  Daly's  voice  come  over  the  radio 
screaming,  "They're  getting  away!  They're  getting  away!"  A  burst  of  machine  gun 
fire  erupted  from  my  left  and  struck  the  soldier  who  had  been  helping  his  comrade. 
I  later  learned  that  this  soldier  was  Corporal  Fielder.  I  was  furious.  It  became  obvi- 
ous that  Lt.  Col.  Daly  had  disregarded  and  overridden  my  cease  fire.  If  he  hadn't, 
Corporal  Fielder  would  still  be  alive  today. 

The  mood  within  my  troop  got  ugly.  My  soldiers  were  very  angry  about  what  had 
just  happened.  Several  threats  against  Lt.  Col.  Daly  came  across  the  radio  net,  and 
I  had  to  intervene  to  restore  order. 

To  make  matters  even  worse,  Lt.  Col.  Daly  came  up  to  me  about  an  hour  after 
the  shooting  and  said,  "We  have  to  keep  this  under  our  hat."  His  comments  were 
overheard  by  some  of  my  troops.  I  can  only  imagine  the  signal  this  sent  to  them. 
Several  days  later,  I  discovered  that  my  fellow  officers  were  under  the  false  impres- 
sion that  we  had  destroyed  an  Iraqi  force  on  the  night  this  incident  occurred.  When 
I  tried  to  correct  this  misinformation,  Lt.  Col.  Daly  took  me  aside  and  once  again 
advised  me  to  remain  silent  about  what  had  transpired. 

In  reviewing  the  results  of  the  subsequent  AR  15-6  investigation,  I  learned  that 
an  officer  assigned  to  the  3rd  ACR  stated  that  he  had  attempted  to  receive  author- 
ization to  cross  the  corps  boundary  line  in  order  to  attack  the  airfield  at  Umm 
Hajul.  This  was  denied  by  the  1st  Armored  Division  because  they  had  American 
supply  trains  in  the  area.  That  is  exactly  what  Lt.  Wessels  was  doing  there.  The 
officer  stated  that  he  briefed  the  3rd  ACR  executive  officer  of  this  fact,  who  then 
passed  it  on  to  Col.  Starr,  Lt.  Col.  Daly's  immediate  commander.  If  Col.  Starr  or- 
dered the  attack  on  that  airfield  with  knowledge  of  American  supply  trains  in  the 
area,  then  Col.  Starr  is  as  directly  responsible  for  Corporal  Fielder's  death  as  is  Lt. 
Col.  Daly.  I  believe  this  to  be  exactly  the  case. 

It  is  crystal  clear  that  Col.  Starr  and  Lt.  Col.  Daly  were  aware  of  both  the  corps 
boundary  and  the  possibility  of  friendly  forces  in  the  area.  Incredibly,  they  ordered 
and  conducted  a  violent  assault  into  the  Umm  Hajul  area.  I  feel  these  were  crimi- 
nally negligent  acts. 

In  sitting  next  to  Kevin  today  and  hearing  him  talk  about  his  letter  of  admonition 
and  the  obvious  effect  it  has  had  on  his  life,  I  feel  compelled  to  tell  this  panel  that 
as  an  eyewitness  to  the  bravery  of  his  actions,  and  the  leadership  he  displayed,  that 
letter  is  totally  unjustified.  The  Army  should  withdraw  the  letter  and  apologize  to 
Kevin. 

To  the  family  of  Lance  Fielder,  and  to  Kevin  and  the  men  under  his  command, 
I  can  never  express  my  true  sorrow  enough  for  the  events  that  took  place  that  night. 
I  learned  early  in  my  career  as  a  cadet  at  West  Point  that  integrity  and  leadership 
are  the  elements  most  vital  to  commanding  men  in  battle.  This  forum,  and  this  in- 
vestigation, looking  into  the  true  causes  of  these  tragic  events  can  go  a  long  way 
to  restoring  the  accountability  and  the  integrity  that  must  exist  in  our  armed  forces. 
You  have  my  sincere  thanks  for  that  effort. 


78 

PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  DEBORAH  SHELTON  AND  RON  FIELDER 

MS.  SHELTON:  Good  morning,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  extend  to  you  my  appreciation 
for  the  opportunity  to  speak  before  your  Subcommittee  today.  Every  member  of  my 
family  has  asked  me  to  offer  you  a  heartfelt  thanks  for  your  support  and  service 
to  us.  Our  decision  to  accept  your  invitation  was,  in  part,  based  upon  one  simple 
principle  that  we  believe  is  vital  to  us  all.  Liberty  wanes,  while  we  in  silence  or  with 
other  things  to  do,  ponder  what  we  value  more  than  the  liberty  to  speak.  I  consider 
your  encouragement  to  provide  testimony  here  an  act  of  good  faith  in  demonstrating 
the  importance  of  a  government  willing  to  serve  all  people  and  ideas  of  merit. 
Among  the  traditional  American  liberties  and  ideals  resides  honesty,  integrity  and 
justice.  These  are  well-proven  tools  for  seeking  truth.  I  ask  you  to  apply  them  with 
skill  today,  not  to  understand  my  truth,  but  to  find  your  own  during  this  inquiry. 

My  son,  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder,  was  killed  in  action  by  friendly  fire  while 
serving  as  a  member  of  the  United  States  Army  during  Operation  Desert  Storm. 
From  the  very  moment  of  his  death,  the  facts  surrounding  this  tragedy  were  known 
accurately  and  in  detail  to  all  involved  military  personnel.  However,  what  I  have 
learned  since  Lance's  death  is  that  any  truth  related  to  this  matter  has  been  sup- 
pressed. That  action  was  adopted  by  consensus  and  endorsed  by  segments  within 
the  Army  officer  corps,  in  accordance  with  an  agreed  upon  plan. 

The  plan  was  simple.  It  contained  only  three  parts: 

1.  Lie  about  how  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder  died. 

2.  Enhance  the  basic  lie  with  arrogant  bravado,  claiming  the  participants  in 
this  action  performed  heroic  feats. 

3.  Use  the  lie  for  personal  gain  by  awarding  medals  for  distinguished  service, 
under  fire,  to  conspirators  and/or  any  participants. 

NOTIFICATION  ABOUT  THE  LOSS  OF  OUR  SON 

On  Thursday,  February  28,  1991,  at  3:00  p.m.,  two  members  of  the  Army's  notifi- 
cation team  came  to  each  of  our  homes  simultaneously.  They  informed  us  that 
Lance  had  been  killed  while  in  combat  with  the  Iraqis  on  February  26,  1991.  On 
the  following  Saturday,  March  2,  1991,  we  each  received  a  Mailgram  from  the  Army 
that  read: 

"This  Mailgram  is  to  confirm  to  you  that  your  son,  Specialist  Douglas 
Lance  Fielder,  died  in  Iraq  on  26  February,  1991,  as  the  result  of  massive 
chest  trauma,  due  to  multiple  gunshot  wounds  received,  while  engaging  the 
enemy." 

We  buried  Lance  on  Friday,  March  8,  1991.  I  remember  standing  at  the  cemetery 
where  we  laid  him  to  rest  and  thinking  about  my  son  and  the  others  buried  in  that 
place.  I  thought  about  how  we  try  to  honor  our  fallen  soldiers  and  how  small  a  piece 
of  ground  they  each  receive  in  death.  At  that  moment,  the  funeral  service  and  the 
small  piece  of  ground  did  not  seem  to  be  enough  for  Lance  or  for  any  of  the  others 
who  had  given  their  lives  for  their  country. 

MR.  FIELDER:  Several  weeks  after  Lance's  funeral,  I  received  a  phone  call  at 
3:00  a.m.  on  May  2,  1991.  The  voice  on  the  other  end  of  the  line  said:  "This  is  Spe- 
cialist Mark  Norwood.  I  served  in  the  Army  with  Lance.  I  was  a  friend  of  his  and 
I'm  in  Saudi  Arabia  now.  The  Army  is  lying  to  you.  Lance  was  killed  by  an  Amer- 
ican unit.  I  can't  talk  any  longer  right  now,  but  when  I  come  home  I'm  going  to 
tell  you  everything  that  really  happened."  The  phone  rang  again  about  an  hour 
later.  This  time  it  was  a  Captain  Bowser,  who  was  Specialist  Norwood's  commander. 
Captain  Bowser  told  me  Lance  had  been  killed  by  an  attacking  American  unit.  He 
also  told  me  that  Lance  would  be  receiving  the  Bronze  Star  with  a  "V"  device  for 
valor. 

During  each  of  these  calls  I  was  in  shock.  I  could  not  think  of  any  questions  to 
ask,  and  it  was  very  difficult  for  me  to  comprehend  what  I  was  being  told.  American 
soldiers  had  killed  my  son,  but  my  country  had  already  told  me  that  the  Iraqis  did 
it. 

These  calls,  which  came  in  the  middle  of  the  night  from  my  son's  colleagues,  were 
the  only  accurate  "notification" — if  it  can  be  called  that — that  Deborah  and  I  would 
receive  for  many  months.  The  Army  didn't  provide  us  with  official  notification  until 
August  1991,  more  than  three  months  after  Lance's  colleagues  called  me  with  the 
truth.  Waiting  three  months  to  hear  something  from  the  Army  would  prove  difficult. 

Shortly  after  I  received  the  calls,  I  telephoned  Deborah  and  explained  what  I  had 
learned  from  Lance's  friends.  Our  discovery  that  Lance  had  been  killed  by  American 
forces  caught  us  both  completely  off  guard.  As  we  would  learn  to  our  sorrow,  we 


79 

were  about  to  begin  a  process  of  grief  and  pain  all  over  again.  However,  this  time 
the  fact  of  Lance's  death  came  to  us  under  a  painful  shroud  of  deceit. 

I  recalled  a  conversation  with  Specialist  Ted  Lane,  the  Army's  official  escort,  that 
took  place  on  March  7,  1991,  the  day  before  we  buried  Lance.  When  I  asked  about 
the  circumstances  of  my  son's  death,  Lane  told  us  that  he  did  not  know.  During  a 
later  visit  by  Lane,  we  would  find  out  that  this  was  not  true.  Ted  Lane  had  known 
all  along  what  the  truth  was,  but  he  had  been  instructed  not  to  discuss  Lance's 
death  with  us,  or  to  volunteer  any  information  of  consequence. 

For  more  than  three  months  after  we  first  received  the  horrifying  news  from  the 
soldiers  in  Lance's  unit,  we  heard  absolutely  nothing  from  the  Army  about  what 
happened.  Absolutely  nothing.  You  cannot  imagine  how  unnerving  it  is  to  be  told 
first  that  your  son  died  at  the  hands  of  the  enemy;  then  to  be  told  off  the  record 
that  he  was  killed  by  Americans;  then  to  be  told  nothing. 

The  Army  eventually  decided  to  give  us  official  notification  about  the  cause  of 
Lance's  death.  The  Army  called  and  told  each  of  us  that  papers  would  be  delivered 
at  exactly  3:00  p.m.  on  August  12,  1991.  We  were  each  given  a  copy  of  the  same 
letter  and  asked  to  sign  for  it.  The  letter  read  in  part: 

"Armored  vehicles  from  another  U.S.  force  strayed  into  your  son's  area. 
The  soldiers  in  these  vehicles  mistakenly  identified  [Lance's]  vehicle  as  hos- 
tile. They  fired  shots  wounding  one  of  the  other  soldiers.  The  soldiers  with 
[Lance]  dismounted  their  vehicles  and  formed  a  hasty  defensive  position, 
while  [Lance]  attended  to  the  wounded  soldier.  As  [Lance]  was  performing 
first  aid,  a  second  round  of  machine  gun  fire  wounded  him.  [Lance]  died 
bravely,  giving  aid  to  a  fellow  soldier,  in  the  thick  of  battle,  selflessly  serv- 
ing his  country." 

MS.  SHELTON:  The  delivery  of  the  notification  letter  was  unusual,  and  it  caught 
our  attention  immediately.  We  were  told  that  the  timing  for  the  receipt  of  the  letter 
was  critical.  This  was  stressed  repeatedly  as  an  important  and  vital  element.  Later, 
we  discovered  that  we  were  only  one  of  a  large  number  of  American  families  who 
unknowingly  participated  in  a  well-orchestrated  event.  The  Army  had  decided,  at 
one  time,  on  one  day,  to  inform  all  of  the  families  whose  loved  ones  had  been  killed 
by  friendly  fire  of  the  real  cause  of  their  deaths.  Thus,  we  were  only  one  of  many 
families  across  this  country  who  were  told  at  exactly  3:00  p.m.  on  August  12,  1991, 
that  their  loved  one  had  been  killed  by  friendly  fire. 

On  that  day,  Army  personnel  fanned  out  across  the  country  with  military  preci- 
sion, executing  the  Army's  notification  plan  by  breaking  the  bad  news  to  everyone 
in  unison,  months  after  the  war  had  ended.  The  Army's  tactic  was  to  overwhelm 
the  media  with  the  magnitude  of  the  event  itself,  while  masking  the  real  signifi- 
cance of  the  unusually  large  number  of  American  deaths  by  friendly  fire. 

Death  by  friendly  fire  is  a  very  sensitive  subject.  It  had  to  be  handled  with  great 
skill.  If  the  Army  had  informed  the  families  of  the  friendly  fire  victims  of  the  cause 
of  death  in  each  instance  as  soon  as  possible,  this  would  have  created  a  long  string 
of  shocking  disclosures  over  an  extended  period  of  time.  And  that  would  have 
harmed  the  Army,  because  as  long  as  the  story  circulated  in  the  press,  reporters 
were  going  to  be  asking  questions. 

From  a  military  standpoint,  the  story  was  big,  the  news  was  bad,  and  a  negative 
impact  in  the  media  was  certain.  Since  so  many  Americans  were  killed  by  other 
Americans  in  Desert  Storm,  the  truth  of  that  fact  could  not  be  hidden  or  avoided. 
The  strategy  required  accepting  one  big,  negative  hit  in  the  press,  then  letting  the 
story  die.  By  speaking  all  at  once  to  each  family  victimized  by  friendly  fire,  the  mili- 
tary limited  to  the  greatest  extent  possible  the  envisioned  outrage  by  the  media. 
Duping  the  media  was  vital. 

BEGINNING  OUR  SEARCH  FOR  THE  TRUTH 

We  knew  there  was  nothing  that  would  bring  back  our  son,  but  at  the  same  time, 
we  were  forced  to  face  certain  realities.  How  was  Lance  killed  by  Americans?  Why 
did  the  U.S.  Army  elect  to  lie  to  our  family?  Did  they  have  something  to  hide?  If 
that  was  true,  what  were  they  attempting  to  conceal?  Making  some  notes  on  what 
was  known  to  us  at  that  time  helped  me  to  focus  on  three  very  important  issues: 

A.  Why  were  Lance  and  a  handful  of  men  left  alone  in  the  desert  in  the 
first  place? 

B.  What  really  took  place  out  there,  and  how  could  American  forces  at- 
tack and  kill  other  Americans? 

C.  Exactly  what  did  happen  to  my  son  from  the  time  he  died  until  he 
came  home? 


80 

It  was  clear  to  Ron  and  me  that  no  amount  of  agonizing  would  get  us  the  truth. 
I  knew  that  for  myself  there  would  never  be  an  end  to  the  anguish  until  our  family 
had  the  complete  truth.  I  made  up  my  mind  to  look  for  the  truth  until  I  found  it. 
I  began  calling  and  meeting  with  people,  requesting  government  documents,  and 
writing  letters.  Over  the  last  four  years,  I  have  placed  more  phone  calls,  written 
more  letters,  filed  more  FOIA  requests,  and  contacted  more  people  than  I  could 
count  for  you  today.  The  search  for  the  truth  has  been  a  heartbreaking  four  year 
journey  through  thickets  of  deceit,  delay,  bureaucratic  incompetence,  and  callous- 
ness. 

I  began  to  consider  how  many  people  it  takes  to  tell  a  really  big  lie  and  today 
I  still  do  not  know.  However,  I  do  know  it  only  takes  one  to  initiate  the  process. 
It  would  take  some  time  for  me  to  learn  dishonesty,  for  this  situation  began  in  the 
desert  a  long  way  from  where  I  stood.  Yet  it  did  not  stop  there,  but  moved  instead 
with  remarkable  swiftness  to  savage  our  family.  That  same  dishonesty  gained 
strength  with  assistance  from  those  who  in  time  would  elect  to  lie,  obstructing  the 
truth  and  also  to  protect  themselves. 

I  soon  discovered  that  our  quest  for  the  truth  would  require  patience,  diligence, 
and  common  sense.  Patience  has  never  been  my  best  virtue.  However,  with  enough 
determination,  I  would  make  up  for  that  shortcoming  in  other  ways. 

As  this  Senate  Subcommittee  receives  testimony  from  the  witnesses  here  today, 
there  is  no  doubt  that  many  lingering  questions  remain.  For  example: 

•  Did  the  commanders  involved  benefit  from  this  tragedy  by  sending  our  son 
home  a  hero?  Did  the  risk  involved  in  deceiving  us  initially  about  the  cause 
of  our  son's  death  appear  acceptable  to  the  people  involved? 

•  What  happened  to  the  "original"  battlefield  paperwork  and  other  documents 
that  disclosed  the  evidence  of  friendly  fire? 

•  Were  awards  given  or  "forced"  upon  soldiers  to  keep  them  silent  about  the 
true  facts  surrounding  Lance's  death? 

•  Is  there  a  direct,  viable,  and  recognized  relationship  between  awards  for  valor 
on  the  battlefield,  and  military  promotions? 

•  Did  one  or  more  commanders  involved  in  this  friendly  fire  tragedy  relinquish 
command  by  becoming  directly  involved  in  the  attack? 

•  Did  a  heated  argument,  which  verged  on  physical  violence,  occur  at  Colonel 
Starr's  Command  HQ  immediately  after  this  incident? 

•  Was  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  responsible  for  the  actions  of  his  gunner? 

•  Why  doesn't  the  U.S.  Military  provide  to  the  families  of  friendly  fire  victims 
full  disclosure  of  its  investigations? 

THE  ARMY  ATTEMPTS  TO  INVESTIGATE  AND  EXPLAIN  WHY  WE  WERE  MISINFORMED 
ABOUT  THE  CAUSE  OF  LANCE'S  DEATH 

MR.  FIELDER:  On  January  25,  1992,  Colonel  Waller  from  the  Army  Inspector 
General's  office  came  to  Nashville  to  tell  us  about  an  Army  investigation  into  the 
reasons  why  we  had  received  erroneous  notification  about  Lance's  death.  Colonel 
Waller  began  the  meeting  by  telling  us,  "Well,  Murphy  is  alive  and  well."  The  first 
thing  that  flashed  into  my  mind  was,  "It's  too  bad  our  son  is  not."  We  were  stunned 
by  his  comment.  He  continued,  saying  "To  compound  a  comedy  of  errors,  who  would 
have  ever  believed  the  one  soldier  this  happened  to  would  also  be  the  one  whose 
mother  spent  three  weeks  with  him  in  Germany  and  these  soldiers  think  she  is 
their  mother,  too!"  We  just  listened. 

It  is  our  opinion  that  Colonel  Waller  began  his  investigation  with  a  predetermined 
conclusion,  which  Deborah  feared  would  lead  him  to  ignore  the  most  troubling  as- 
pects of  the  notification  issue.  For  example,  Colonel  Waller  seemed  to  discount  com- 
pletely the  testimony  of  a  soldier  who  had  pinned  a  death  tag  on  Lance's  uniform 
just  before  Lance  was  evacuated.  That  tag,  which  listed  the  cause  of  Lance's  death 
as  friendly  fire,  was  missing  when  Lance's  body  arrived  at  the  MASH  unit  where, 
with  no  information  to  the  contrary,  Lance  was  mistakenly  listed  as  "Killed  In  Ac- 
tion" by  Iraqi  troops.  The  disappearance  of  the  tag  is  apparently  the  reason  why 
we  were  kept  in  the  dark  for  so  many  months  about  the  real  cause  of  Lance's  death. 

WE  RECEIVE  THE  INSPECTOR  GENERAL'S  REPORT 

On  April  20,  1992,  we  received  a  copy  of  the  Army  Inspector  General's  written 
report  on  its  investigation  of  the  notification  issue.  The  report  dealt  in  detail  with 
the  mechanics  of  the  notification  process  and  the  shapes  and  sizes  of  various  Army 
forms,  but  it  only  glossed  over  the  facts  surrounding  what  actually  happened  the 
night  that  Lance  was  killed.  Deborah's  fears  were  confirmed:  Colonel  Waller's  report 
did  not  remotely  resemble  the  verbal  briefing  that  we  had  previously  received  from 


81 

him.  The  Inspector  General's  report  was  convoluted  and  misleading,  but,  above  all, 
it  seemed  to  confirm  Colonel  Waller's  predetermined  conclusions. 

MS.  SHELTON:  Then  and  there,  for  the  first  time,  I  really  began  to  understand 
"the  rules  of  engagement"  in  the  truest  sense  of  the  term.  We  were  dismayed  by 
the  Inspector  General's  report,  but  decided  to  press  forward  to  find  out  what  really 
happened  to  our  son.  We  had  concluded  by  this  time  that  the  Army  was  completely 
incapable  of  helping  us  discover  the  truth  about  our  son's  death.  For  example,  I 
called  General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  who  signed  several  reprimands  that  the  Army  gave 
after  Lance's  death,  to  inquire  about  those  reprimands.  A  representative  from  Gen- 
eral Burba's  office  called  me  back  and  said,  "Quite  frankly,  madam,  this  is  a  mili- 
tary matter  and  none  of  your  concern." 

THE  TRUTH  BEGINS  TO  UNFOLD 

We  got  an  appointment  at  Senator  Sasser's  office  in  Washington  with  intent  of 
requesting  a  GAO  investigation  into  Lance's  death  and  also  the  process  of  the  entire 
investigation.  In  late  April  1992,  Ron  and  I  traveled  to  Washington  to  meet  with 
some  of  Senator  Sasser's  staff.  After  presenting  our  scenario  and  summary  of  the 
Inspector  General's  report  and  the  dealings  to  date  with  the  Army,  Senator  Sasser 
asked  the  GAO  to  review  the  case  to  see  if  an  investigation  would  be  warranted, 
this  was  in  June  1992. 

On  November  2,  1992,  we  find  out  the  GAO  does  in  fact  agree  with  us  and  sees 
clear  need  for  an  investigation.  We  were  told  that  GAO  would  begin  its  work  in  Jan- 
uary 1993.  We  later  learned  that  the  Army,  through  General  Griffith,  worked  be- 
hind the  scenes  to  hold  up  the  investigation.  By  persuading  Senator  Sasser's  office 
that  he  wanted  to  speak  to  us  in  person  before  the  investigation  started  but  then 
never  calling  us,  General  Griffith  caused  GAO  to  delay  its  work  for  nearly  two 
months. 

When  Senator  Sasser  was  defeated,  it  became  obvious  to  us  that  we  needed  an- 
other Senator  to  take  up  our  cause  and  to  push  for  the  publication  of  the  GAO  re- 
port. We  appreciate  more  than  words  can  say  the  able  assistance  of  Senator  Thomp- 
son, who  has  carried  our  cause  forward.  We  know  our  state  is  fortunate  to  have  him. 
The  voters  of  our  state  chose  well,  and  our  family  thanks  him  from  the  bottom  of 
our  hearts. 

On  April  22,  1994,  GAO  completed  its  investigation  and  we  received  a  briefing. 
We  learned  then  for  the  first  time  about  the  medals  for  valor  that  had  been  awarded 
to  those  who  were  involved  in  the  attack  on  Lance's  unit.  We  also  learned  of  GAO's 
conclusion  that  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  Daly,  the  commander  of  the  unit  that  at- 
tacked Lance,  failed  to  maintain  adequate  command  and  control  over  his  squadron. 
GAO  further  concluded  that  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  broke  the  rules  of  engagement 
that  evening  by  firing  at  an  unidentified  target  that  was  not  firing  back  and  that 
Daly  knew — and  failed  to  tell  his  soldiers — that  there  might  be  other  Americans  in 
the  area.  GAO  also  discovered  that  in  the  moments  just  before  the  attack,  a  soldier 
heard  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly  report  to  his  commander  that  Daly  saw  an  Amer- 
ican-made vehicle  but  thought  it  belonged  to  the  Iraqis.  These  findings  confirm  what 
we  have  believed  for  a  long  time — that  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's  negligence  led  di- 
rectly to  the  death  of  our  son. 

MR.  FIELDER:  I  am  a  police  sergeant  in  Nashville,  TN.  As  such,  I  know  the  re- 
sponsibility that  goes  with  discharging  a  weapon  in  the  line  of  duty.  Military  forces 
who  kill  the  enemy  are  one  of  two  things:  disciplined  and  courageous,  or  undisci- 
plined and  dangerous.  In  my  opinion,  the  factors  critical  in  making  this  distinction 
are  leadership  and  the  ability  to  command.  Within  the  scope  of  American  justice 
and  law  enforcement,  we  have  specific  guidelines,  which  include  accountability  to 
the  citizens  of  America. 

In  my  capacity  as  Entry  Leader  on  the  SWAT  team  in  Nashville,  if  I  displayed 
such  use  of  force  in  a  similar  situation,  went  to  the  wrong  address,  violated  the 
rules  of  engagement,  shot  an  unidentified  person,  and  killed  him,  consequences  for 
such  actions  would  be  swift.  I  can  assure  you  there  would  be  neither  a  medal  nor 
a  promotion.  I  would  be  immediately  fired,  charged  with  manslaughter  or  2nd  de- 
gree murder,  and  made  to  stand  accountable.  Failure  of  the  Metropolitan  Police  De- 
partment to  dismiss  me  immediately  under  such  circumstances  would  undoubtedly 
result  in  a  guilty  verdict  against  the  city  for  negligent  retention. 

Some  may  think  that  Deborah  and  I  hate  the  United  States  Army  and  that  our 
hatred  for  that  institution  has  been  our  motivation.  Nothing  could  be  further  from 
the  truth.  We  can't  hate  the  Army.  If  we  did,  it  would  be  like  hating  Lance  because 
he  loved  being  a  part  of  the  Army.  There  has  never  been  a  soldier  who  was  more 
proud  of  wearing  the  Army  uniform.  On  the  contrary,  we  care  so  much  about  the 


82 

Army  that  we  have  spent  the  last  four  years  trying  to  help  it  realize  the  loss  of  in- 
tegrity displayed  in  this  matter.  A  very  wise  man  has  said  in  reference  to  this  case 
that  "This  lie  has  done  more  harm  to  the  military  than  a  thousand  truths  would 
have  done."  Accountability  and  integrity  in  our  military  must  be  restored. 

MS.  SHELTON:  GAO  discovered  that  soldiers  in  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's  unit 
received  valorous  awards  for  the  attack  and  that  those  awards  were  based  on 
misstatements  and  misrepresentations.  In  April  1994,  GAO  briefed  the  Army  in  de- 
tail about  those  improper  awards  and  the  lies  that  supported  them.  The  Army  re- 
sponse to  the  briefing  typifies  everything  the  Army  has  done  in  this  case.  First,  the 
Army  sat  on  the  information  for  a  year,  and  only  took  action  one  day  before  GAO's 
final  report  was  released  in  the  spring  of  1995.  The  timing  of  the  Army's  action  can- 
not be  a  coincidence.  Second,  when  the  Army  finally  rescinded  the  Bronze  Stars 
with  "V"  devices  that  were  awarded  to  the  soldiers  in  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly's 
unit,  it  simultaneously  reissued  Bronze  Stars  and  Army  Commendation  Medals  for 
Merit  to  those  same  soldiers.  This  says  that  "although  we  no  longer  think  killing 
your  son  was  a  valorous  act,  it  was  a  meritorious  act." 

This  is  appalling.  It  nauseates  me  to  know  that  an  American  soldier  would  accept 
an  award  for  valor  based  on  a  lie.  Failure  to  accept  responsibility  is  cowardice.  And 
turning  that  failure  into  a  career-enhancing  event  is  an  unspeakable  act.  As  such, 
it  tarnishes  the  honor  of  every  brave  soul  who  ever  risked  death  by  fighting  for  his 
or  her  country.  It  also  breaks  the  hearts  of  those  who  love  America.  But,  we  know, 
brave  hearts  do  prevail. 

I  understand  lies,  regrets,  and  mistakes.  Having  worked  to  find  the  truth  in  this 
tragedy,  I  have  also  learned  to  recognize  deceit  for  personal  gain,  military  command- 
ers who  do  not  command,  and  those  who  have  no  honor. 


PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  DALY 

Mr.  Chairman  and  Members  of  the  Committee.  Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to 
present  my  testimony  before  this  committee.  I  hope  that  my  comments  and  re- 
sponses to  your  questions  will  assist  in  your  task  of  understanding  what  happened 
in  the  Iraqi  Desert  four  and  a  half  years  ago. 

Sir,  this  is  the  first  time  I  have  been  able  to  address  Sergeant  Fielder's  family 
publicly.  I  want  the  Fielder  family  to  know  that  I  share  their  loss.  From  the  moment 
of  Sergeant  Fielder's  death,  they  have  been  in  my  thoughts  and  prayers.  While  con- 
fusion is  normal  in  combat,  the  tragic  combination  of  events  that  occurred  in  Feb- 
ruary 1991  resulting  in  the  loss  of  their  son  is  not  something  I  take  lightly.  I  want 
them  to  know  that  I  share  their  sorrow  and  pain.  I  wish  they  could  understand  how 
utterly  abhorrent  I  find  that  my  actions  and  those  of  my  subordinates  have  resulted 
in  the  death  of  a  fellow  soldier. 

Mrs.  Shelton  in  an  anguished  letter  to  me  expressed  her  hope  that  I  shared  the 
hell  she  is  going  through.  I  want  her  to  know  that  I  empathized  with  her  when  she 
wrote, 

"If  there  is  a  God,  and  I  believe  there  is,  I  must  trust  him  to  make  your 
journey  for  peace  as  difficult  as  mine." 

She  should  know  that  my  journey  has  also  been  a  difficult  one.  No  grief  is  as 
great  as  a  Mother's  grief  and  I  do  not  presume  to  compare  mine  with  hers.  However, 
I  do  think  of  their  anguish  and  pain  daily.  Any  semblance  of  normalcy  in  my  life 
is  and  will  always  be  overshadowed  by  this  loss. 

One  question  I  have  heard  repeatedly  is  why  I  have  not  contacted  Sergeant  Field- 
er's family  directly  to  express  my  sympathies  and  to  reach  out  to  them.  I  can  only 
tell  you  my  reasons  as  I  have  told  each  official  investigator  and  asked  them  to  pass 
on  to  Sergeant  Fielder's  parents.  Initially,  I  trusted  the  Army  casualty  notification 
system  to  handle  the  notification  compassionately  and  properly  through  Sergeant 
Fielder's  chain  of  command.  Obviously,  based  on  the  1992  House  Armed  Services 
Report,  the  Army  let  me  and  Sergeant  Fielder's  family  down.  I  relied  on  the  Army 
and  VII  Corps  to  do  the  right  thing.  You  have  other  witnesses  from  the  Army  to 
explain  the  reasons  the  Army  conducted  itself  that  way.  I  will  only  say  that  I  agree 
that  it  was  a  horrible  way  to  handle  this.  The  Fielders  are  understandably  outraged 
at  the  way  they  were  notified.  We  knew  it  had  been  friendly  fire  and  we  reported 
it  immediately.  The  second  reason  I  have  not  contacted  them  is  that  I  have  been 
under  investigation  from  the  moment  it  happened.  Each  time  it  looked  like  this  had 
been  resolved,  another  investigation  began.  My  natural  inclination  toward  compas- 
sionately reaching  out  was  overshadowed  by  my  responsibility  not  to  discuss  a  case 
under  investigation.  I  can,  however,  assure  you  that  I  have  constantly  reviewed  and 
anguished  over  this  decision. 


83 

The  first  issue  I  understand  this  committee  is  addressing  is  governmental  ac- 
countability. I  would  like  to  address  my  own  accountability  in  this  case.  I  long  ago 
accepted  the  responsibilities  of  command.  When  this  incident  occurred,  offered  to 
step  down  on  the  spot.  My  commander  rejected  this  as  he  viewed  that  had  a  higher 
responsibility  to  the  1,000  men  I  was  leading  in  combat.  As  I  said  in  my  letter  to 
the  Forces  Command  Commander,  I  understand  that  I  as  a  commander  am  respon- 
sible for  everything  my  unit  does  or  fails  to  do.  I  have  not  attempted  to  escape  those 
responsibilities,  rather  I  ask  that  my  actions  be  judged  in  light  of  the  facts  and  cir- 
cumstances as  we  knew  them  at  the  time.  From  the  beginning,  I  have  been  forth- 
coming. I  freely  gave  my  open  and  honest  assessments  without  requesting  an  attor- 
ney. I  provided  hundreds  of  pages  of  testimony,  and  I  took  responsibility  for  my  ac- 
tions. I  encouraged  openness  from  my  subordinates  in  the  belief  that  truth  is  the 
right  policy.  And,  I  have  been  reprimanded.  And,  this  reprimand  is  publicly  known 
and  known  throughout  the  Army  and  my  profession. 

Sir,  much  has  been  said  that  I  am  the  son-in-law  of  a  former  Chief  of  Staff  of 
the  Army  and  as  such  have  received  special  treatment  or  protection  from  the  Army 
and  less  punishment  than  I  deserve.  But,  it  has  not  been  widely  publicized  that  I 
never  met  him.  He  died  3  years  before  I  met  my  brother-in-law.  My  brother-in-law 
was  a  major  and  I  was  a  captain  at  that  time.  General  Abrams  died  7  years  before 
I  married  his  daughter.  He  has  been  dead  21  years.  I  am  the  son  of  a  general  offi- 
cer— who  is  also  long  dead.  It  has  been  said  that  I  come  from  a  long  line  of  West 
Point  graduates.  This  is  true  and  we  have  a  proud  history  of  service  to  the  Nation. 
I  am  not  ashamed  of  my  family.  It  is  all  very  interesting  and  fills  a  few  lines  in 
a  newspaper  article.  It  is  not  germane  to  either  the  issue  before  you  or  to  the  per- 
formance of  my  duties.  It  is  not  germane  to  the  issue  of  how  the  Army  investiga- 
tions were  conducted  or  the  conclusions  drawn  or  the  punishment  received. 

It  has  been  said  that  I  am  in  a  career  enhancing  job  in  the  Pentagon.  The  truth 
is  that  I  am  in  a  sort  of  military  purgatory.  Yes,  my  name  goes  forward  for  consider- 
ation for  schooling  and  promotion;  independent  boards  of  officers  have  repeatedly  se- 
lected me  for  these,  but  schooling  and  promotion  are  blocked.  Normally,  I  would 
have  gone  to  school  three  years  ago  and  been  promoted  this  summer.  These  will  not 
come  to  pass  until  this  case  is  resolved,  if  at  all.  For  the  past  three  years,  I  have 
been  at  the  same  desk  doing  the  military  equivalent  job  of  one  of  a  research  assist- 
ant. This  is  not  a  career  enhancing  position.  In  my  experience,  over  50%  of  the  Lieu- 
tenant Colonels  in  the  Pentagon  leave  the  Service  from  the  Pentagon.  I  have  lived 
with  constant  allegations  of  lying,  receiving  favoritism,  influencing  others, 
scapegoating,  and  covering  up.  Although  these  allegations  are  not  true,  they  impugn 
my  integrity  and  destroy  my  reputation. 

I  think  it  would  be  helpful  to  remember  why  we  were  there — half  way  around  the 
world.  We  were  sent  by  our  country  to  deter  a  further  Iraqi  attack  on  Saudi  Arabia. 
Then,  we  were  told  to  attack  and  destroy  Sadam  Hussien's  Army  for  the  purpose 
of  freeing  Kuwait.  This  was  the  largest  Armored  maneuver  force  since  Inchon.  My 
unit  alone,  the  3d  Squadron,  had  over  1,000  soldiers  on  about  100  combat  vehicles 
(40+Tanks,  40+Bradley  Fighting  Vehicles,  6  Howitzers,  plus  supporting  equipment). 
This  was  mechanized  warfare  on  the  grandest  scale  ever  attempted.  We  expected 
a  large  number  of  casualties.  We  expected  fierce  fighting.  We  had  reports  of  Iraqi 
deceptions  on  surrendering  to  draw  in  Americans  and  then  opening  fire.  In  short, 
we  expected  to  fight  a  war. 

Sixty  hours  into  a  complex  operation  with  leaders  and  soldiers  who  were  tired, 
we  all  did  our  best  with  the  training  and  experience  we  had  in  trying  to  defeat  the 
Nation's  enemy.  That  Sergeant  Fielder  died  is  a  burden  that  I  will  forever  carry. 
The  meaning  of  the  phrase  "fog  of  war"  has  no  better  example  than  the  confusion 
that  took  place  in  the  Iraqi  desert  four  and  a  half  years  ago  and  the  confusion  that 
still  exists  based  on  the  evidence  you  hear  today.  However,  I  firmly  believe  that  I 
acted  as  any  reasonable  combat  commander  would  have  acted  had  he  been  in  this 
situation  regrettable  as  the  outcome  was. 

Mr.  Chairman,  this  concludes  my  opening  remarks.  What  are  your  questions? 


PREPARED  STATEMENT  OF  SARA  E.  LISTER 

Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  testify  on  behalf  of  the  Department  of  the  Army 
and  to  address  the  issues  arising  from  the  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment's  actions 
on  the  night  of  February  27th,  1991,  and  the  subsequent  actions — and  missteps — 
by  the  Army.  I  am  accompanied  today  by  General  Ron  Griffith,  the  new  Vice  Chief 
of  Staff  for  the  Army,  formerly  the  Army  Inspector  General  and  before  that,  the 
Commander  of  the  1st  Armored  Division  in  Operation  Desert  Storm.  As  you  know, 
General  Griffith  is  uniquely  qualified  to  speak  of  Desert  Storm,  and  of  the  fratricide 


84 

incident  at  issue  here.  I  am  also  accompanied  by  Major  General  Mike  Nardotti,  the 
Judge  Advocate  General  of  the  Army.  He  can  speak  to  issues  of  the  Uniform  Code 
of  Military  Justice  and  the  AR  15-6  investigation  process. 

Shortly  after  being  sworn  in  as  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army  for  Manpower 
and  Reserve  Affairs  I  attended  a  briefing  by  the  GAO  on  the  preliminary  results 
of  their  investigation  into  the  tragic  fratricide  incident  on  the  night  of  February  27, 
1991,  in  Iraq.  I  knew  nothing  of  the  incident;  but  I  remember  that  briefing  well, 
for  we  listened  to  the  tape  recording  which  the  GAO  had  discovered.  It  was  the  first 
time  the  Army  leadership  had  heard  that  tape.  I  was  impressed  at  that  time  with 
the  professionalism  of  the  GAO  investigators;  now  that  I  have  studied  their  written 
report  my  first  opinion  is  confirmed.  I  want  to  thank  the  GAO,  particularly  Barbara 
Cart  and  Randy  Stone,  for  their  professionalism  and  for  their  thoroughness.  Their 
inquiry  was  handled  with  extraordinary  care  and  concern  for  the  families — espe- 
cially the  family  of  Sergeant  Douglas  Lance  Fielder — a  family  which  has  suffered 
enormously.  First  in  the  loss  of  their  son,  and  then  in  their  loss  of  faith  that  the 
Army,  as  an  institution,  will  bring  this  fratricide  incident  to  a  closure  marked  by 
justice  and  compassion.  The  Army  regrets  the  pain  and  suffering  we  have  caused 
Sergeant  Fielder's  family.  I  want  them  to  know  that  we  have  learned  much  from 
this  incident  and  we  are  committed  to  acting  to  avoid  a  repetition  in  the  future. 

I  intend  to  deal  with  four  issues  that  have  been  of  great  concern  to  the  Army  lead- 
ership, and  which  I  know  are  of  concern  to  this  subcommittee.  I  want  to  state  at 
the  outset  that  the  Army  made  serious  errors  with  respect  to  all  these  issues.  But 
in  the  end,  the  Army  itself  continued  to  ask  questions  about  this  fratricide  incident 
until  the  truth  was  uncovered.  And  the  Army  has  learned  from  its  mistakes,  has 
already  changed  some  procedures,  and  is  in  the  process  of  revising  others.  I  can  as- 
sure you  that  the  Army  will  bring  this  tragic  event  to  closure;  not  soon  enough,  to 
be  sure,  but  using  procedures  marked  by  due  process  and  fairness. 

Areas  of  concern  are:  first,  the  investigation  of  the  incident;  second,  the  casualty 
notification  process;  third,  tbe  awards  issued  to  personnel  involved  in  the  incident; 
and  finally,  other  personnel  issues. 

INVESTIGATION  OF  THE  INCIDENT 

There  were  two  separate  investigations  into  the  events  surrounding  the  tragedy 
of  27  February  1991.  Both  investigations  were  conducted  under  the  commander's 
authority  provided  in  Army  Regulation  15-6.  Both  were  seriously  flawed;  but  in 
each  case  the  Army  itself  continued  to  ask  new  questions,  and  challenge  conclusions 
and  recommendations,  until  all  the  facts  were  revealed. 

The  preliminary  investigation  was  directed  by  the  Commander  of  the  3d  Armored 
Cavalry  Regiment.  This  investigation  was  initially  concluded  on  March  3,  1991,  re- 
opened because  of  questions  asked  by  elements  in  the  Army  intent  on  finding  the 
facts,  and  concluded  a  second  time  on  May  4,  1991.  The  investigating  officer  was 
a  military  lawyer,  a  captain  serving  as  the  Command  Judge  Advocate  for  the  3d 
ACR.  Looking  back,  it  is  clear  that  the  Army  put  this  young  captain  in  an  untenable 
position.  He  was  a  good  lawyer,  by  all  reports — but  in  this  investigation  he  had  to 
examine  the  actions  of  officers  who  were  his  direct  superiors,  which  generally  is  for- 
bidden by  regulation,  except  in  exigent  circumstances.  Further,  he  operated  under 
severe  time  constraints  and  the  turbulence  due  first,  to  the  continuing  combat  oper- 
ations, and  then  to  the  Army's  efforts  to  redeploy  soldiers  from  the  Persian  Gulf  as 
quickly  as  possible. 

Whatever  the  reasons,  the  initial  investigation  was  insufficient.  However,  the 
Army  itself  recognized  the  shortcomings  of  the  initial  investigation,  and,  in  the  end, 
the  system  did  work.  A  second  investigating  officer  was  appointed — this  time  a  brig- 
adier general,  to  conduct  a  thorough  and  complete  inquiry.  That  investigation  was 
concluded  on  March  17,  1992.  A  copy  of  it  was  provided  by  the  Commanding  Gen- 
eral of  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps  to  the  Department  of  the  Army  and  to  his  superior, 
the  Commanding  General,  Forces  Command. 

The  second  investigation  was  reviewed  in  detail  by  the  Army  Inspector  General 
and  the  investigating  officer  briefed  the  Vice  Chief  of  Staff  on  his  observations  and 
findings.  Questions  raised  by  the  Inspector  General  were  referred  by  the  Director 
of  the  Army  Staff,  Lieutenant  General  Dominy,  to  the  Commanding  General  of 
Forces  Command,  General  Burba.  General  Burba's  Staff  Judge  Advocate — a  senior 
military  lawyer — also  gave  the  report  a  critical  legal  review.  The  facts  were  accu- 
rate: the  conclusions  and  recommendations  were  found  to  be  insufficient. 

As  a  major  command  commander,  General  Burba  was  the  official  responsible  for 
taking  appropriate  action  to  resolve  questions  raised  by  the  DAIG  and  to  address 
any  other  matters  arising  from  his  review  of  the  investigation.  On  the  advice  of  his 
Staff  Judge  Advocate,   General   Burba  disapproved   certain  conclusions   and   rec- 


85 

ommendations  of  the  investigating  officers.  Most  importantly,  he  rejected  the  conclu- 
sion that  the  actions  and  decisions  of  all  individuals  involved  in  the  fratricide  inci- 
dent were  reasonable  and  appropriate  under  the  circumstances  of  combat.  General 
Burba  did  not  find,  nor  did  his  Staff  Judge  Advocate  recommend  that  he  find,  that 
any  person  was  criminally  liable  for  the  death  of  Sergeant  Fielder. 

It  is  important  to  note  here  that  despite  the  inadequacies  of  the  initial  investiga- 
tions, the  Army's  final  report  of  investigation  contains  essentially  the  same  facts  as 
found  by  the  GAO,  with  the  exception  of  the  audio  tape  discovered  by  the  GAO  in- 
vestigator. 

The  Secretary  of  the  Army  has  directed  that  a  copy  of  the  GAO's  final  report, 
which  we  received  in  late  April,  be  provided  together  with  the  other  reports  of  inves- 
tigation to  the  Commanding  General  of  the  Military  District  of  Washington.  He  has 
been  instructed  to  reexamine  the  disciplinary  actions  taken  as  a  result  of  the  inci- 
dent and  to  review  other  matters,  as  appropriate,  arising  from  the  disciplinary  re- 
view. We  expect  that  review  will  be  completed  in  early  September. 

Army  Regulation  15-6  is  currently  under  review.  AR  15-6  provides  commanders 
at  all  levels  with  an  essential,  fact-finding  tool.  Used  properly,  it  provides  thorough 
yet  expeditious  answers  to  significant  issues.  The  Judge  Advocate  General,  as  the 
proponent  of  the  regulation,  is  overseeing  the  review.  The  leadership  of  the  Army 
will  ensure  that  a  revised  AR  15-6  gives  Commanders  even  clearer  guidelines  to 
follow  in  such  investigations  to  ensure  the  problems  identified  in  this  case  are  not 
repeated. 

CASUALTY  NOTIFICATION  PROCESS 

I  am  aware  that  there  were  serious  problems  with  the  information  given  next  of 
kin  when  the  casualty  was  due  to  possible  fratricide.  The  process  used  then — and 
the  delay  in  notification — has  been  thoroughly  examined  by  the  Army,  the  Depart- 
ment of  Defense,  and  the  Congress.  One  thing  is  clear,  the  process  used  in  peace- 
time to  report,  for  example,  a  training  accident,  cannot  be  overlayed  on  a  wartime 
environment.  Nevertheless,  the  current  process  is  designed  to  ensure  that  families 
obtain  accurate  information  as  soon  as  it  is  available  to  the  Army.  Everyone  should 
be  perfectly  aware  that  the  mistakes  made  in  the  casualty  notification  process  were 
honest  mistakes.  No  one  involved  in  the  process  intended  to  provide  false  informa- 
tion; nevertheless,  I  can  assure  you  that  this  is  an  area  of  great  concern  to  the  en- 
tire Army  leadership.  The  Army  has  taken  action  since  Desert  Storm  to  ensure  that 
the  casualty  notification  process  is  timely,  accurate,  and  sensitive  to  the  needs  of 
the  families  whose  loved  ones  are  killed  or  wounded  in  service  to  their  country. 

AWARDS  ISSUED  TO  PERSONNEL  INVOLVED  IN  THE  FRATRICIDE 

Aside  from  the  death  of  Sergeant  Fielder  itself,  the  most  contentious  and  emo- 
tional issue  arising  from  the  events  of  February  27,  1991,  are  the  awards  given  to 
personnel  involved  in  some  way  with  the  incident.  During  Desert  Storm,  as  is  the 
Army  practice  in  all  major  combat  actions,  authority  to  approve  certain  decorations 
is  delegated  to  field  commanders.  This  included  authority  to  award  the  Bronze  Star 
or  Army  Commendation  Medal,  for  either  valor  (when  presented  with  the  "V"  de- 
vice) or  service  (without  the  "V"  device). 

In  Operation  Desert  Storm,  the  approval  authority  for  the  Silver  Star  or  a  lower 
ranking  decoration  was  delegated  to  division  commanders  (Major  General).  In  the 
case  of  the  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  the  commander  was  not  a  general  officer, 
so  the  authority  to  issue  these  awards  remained  at  the  Corps  level.  In  this  case, 
the  authority  rested  with  the  XVIII  Airborne  Corps  Commanding  General. 

Following  the  incident  on  the  27th  of  February,  several  soldiers  were  rec- 
ommended for  valorous  awards.  Such  awards  are  not  appropriate  for  actions  taken, 
even  when  in  themselves  evidencing  bravery,  if  there  is  no  enemy  against  whom  the 
action  is  directed.  Unfortunately,  several  valorous  awards  were  presented  in  connec- 
tion with  the  February  27th  incident,  based  on  narratives  that  contained  inaccurate 
information. 

It  is  true  that  the  final  Army  review  of  the  investigations  recognized  that  there 
might  well  be  a  problem  with  some  of  the  awards.  The  Commanding  General  of 
Forces  Command,  General  Burba,  approved  the  following  course  of  action  rec- 
ommended by  his  Staff  Judge  Advocate: 

"Following  receipt  and  consideration  of  any  reply  to  the  proposed  letters 
of  reprimand,  a  determination  be  made  as  to  whether  a  copy  of  the  attached 
report  of  investigation  be  forwarded  to  the  Adjutant  General  of  the  Army 
with  a  recommendation  that  the  personnel  files  of  (specific  individuals)  be 
reviewed  to  determine  whether  any  personal  awards  and  decorations  pre- 
sented to  them  as  a  result  of  Desert  Storm  be  withdrawn." 


86 

The  review  recommended  by  the  FORSCCM  Staff  Judge  Advocate  did  not  occur. 
I  do  not  believe  that  failure  to  follow  through  with  such  a  review  was  intentional. 
We  are  in  the  process  of  following  through  on  this  recommendation. 

But  our  failures  did  not  end  with  the  lack  of  review  of  the  awards  after  General 
Burba  sent  his  recommendations  forward.  As  the  GAO  report  indicates,  the  GAO 
questioned  whether  the  narrative  justifying  additional  awards  was  accurate  and  rec- 
ommended that  the  Army  take  action.  The  DA  Inspector  General  did  conduct  a  sep- 
arate review  of  the  valor  awards  issued  to  soldiers  directly  involved  in  the  incident. 
In  August  of  1994,  I  received  a  memorandum  from  the  DAIG  asking  that  I  review 
certain  awards  and  determine  whether  they  should  be  revoked.  I  endorsed  that 
memorandum  to  the  Adjutant  General  and  the  process  of  review  did  begin. 

We  take  responsibility  for  the  delay  in  completing  that  review.  The  review  was 
to  include  not  only  the  awards  to  seven  individuals  involved  in  that  fratricide,  but 
also  was  to  review  any  other  awards  that  may  have  been  improperly  authorized  for 
that  and  all  other  known  fratricide  incidents. 

As  you  know,  the  Army  takes  awards  very  seriously,  and  review  of  awards  is  time 
consuming.  Because  awards  approval  authority  during  Desert  Storm  was  delegated 
to  field  commanders,  the  backup  statements  supporting  each  award  could  only  be 
obtained  through  hand  searches  of  unit  files  from  four  years  ago.  In  many  cases, 
unit  records  were  not  available.  The  process  was  further  complicated  by  the  fact 
that  the  Army  encourages  the  individual  whose  award  is  in  question  to  comment 
on  any  proposal  to  revoke  the  award.  In  some  cases,  the  individuals  involved  had 
been  released  from  active  duty  and  time  was  spent  locating  them. 

Obviously,  the  intention  was  to  be  fair  to  soldiers  whose  service  was  exemplary, 
even  if  not  valorous.  But  the  process  took  too  long.  As  of  May  18,  1995,  Secretary 
West  has  approved  the  revocation  of  the  valorous  awards  and  directed  that  no 
awards  be  reissued  until  the  entire  awards  review  is  completed.  The  Secretary  of 
the  Army  will  consider  any  decorations  recommended  by  the  Adjutant  General  for 
individuals  involved  in  the  Desert  Storm  fratricide  incidents. 

In  conclusion,  I  can  only  say  that  our  process  is  flawed,  and  must  be  revised  to 
ensure  that  review  of  doubtful  awards  is  done  expeditiously.  For  example,  we  are 
changing  our  regulations  so  that  the  authorization  for  an  individual  to  wear  an 
award  on  their  uniform  is  suspended  whenever  an  appropriate  official  determines 
that  there  is  reason  to  doubt  the  validity  of  the  award,  or  where  there  is  reason 
to  believe  that  the  supporting  documents  for  the  award  contain  erroneous  or  mis- 
leading statements  or  misrepresentations  of  fact.  The  suspension  would  remain  in 
effect  until  review  of  the  award  is  completed. 

Detailed  review  of  awards  for  all  personnel  involved  in  Desert  Storm  fratricide  in- 
cidents is  continuing.  We  expect  to  have  recommendations  forwarded  to  the  Sec- 
retary of  the  Army  by  mid-August  at  the  latest. 

OTHER  PERSONNEL  ISSUES 

Many  of  the  officers  and  soldiers  who  were  involved  in  the  incident  are  no  longer 
on  active  duty.  Only  the  former  Commander  of  the  3rd  Squadron,  3rd  ACR,  is  still 
on  active  duty.  The  former  Commander  of  I  Troop,  3rd  Squadron,  3rd  ACR,  a  Cap- 
tain, has  left  active  duty.  The  senior  commander  on  the  ground,  the  former  Com- 
mander of  the  3rd  ACR,  a  Colonel,  voluntary  retired  from  active  duty  in  late  1992. 

It  is  difficult  to  discuss  personnel  actions  in  any  detail  because  of  the  privacy 
rights  of  the  officers  involved,  and  because  other  issues  are  still  under  review  and 
I  cannot  prejudice  the  decision-making  process. 

As  noted  in  the  GAO  Report,  letters  of  reprimand  were  initially  prepared  and  pro- 
vided to  the  three  commanders  for  their  comments  and  return  to  the  Commander, 
Forces  Command.  General  Burba,  after  reviewing  the  comments  of  the  officers  took 
the  following  actions: 

(a)  After  examining  the  remarks  of  the  Commander  of  I  Troop,  General 
Burba  withdrew  the  proposed  letter  of  reprimand. 

(b)  General  Burba  did  find  the  actions  of  the  3rd  ACR  Commander  made 
him  sufficiently  culpable  in  the  incident  to  warrant  allowing  the  reprimand 
to  stand,  but  determined  that  his  reply  contained  additional  extenuation 
and  mitigation.  Thus,  the  reprimand  was  allowed  to  stand  but  was  not 
placed  in  the  officer's  military  personnel  file. 

(c)  The  letter  of  reprimand  for  the  remaining  officer,  the  squadron  com- 
mander, from  whose  command  vehicle  the  shots  fatal  to  Sergeant  Fielder 
were  fired,  was  filed  in  the  officer's  local  military  personnel  records  jacket 
for  one  year. 


87 

In  due  course,  the  former  squadron  commander  was  considered  for  attendance  at 
a  senior  service  college,  as  prescribed  by  Army  policy  and  for  promotion  to  full  Colo- 
nel, as  required,  by  law.  In  each  case,  the  officer  was  nominated  by  the  Selection 
Board.  However,  action  was  taken  by  then  acting  Secretary  of  the  Army  Shannon 
in  March,  1993,  to  delay  the  officer's  attendance  at  Senior  Service  College,  and  by 
Secretary  West  in  January,  1994,  to  delay  the  officer's  promotion,  until  the  GAO's 
report  could  be  received  and  an  additional  review  conducted  of  the  officer's  qualifica- 
tions for  school  and  promotion. 

The  Army  has  a  formal  process  for  reconsidering  officers  for  promotion  and  school- 
ing. This  process  ensures  fairness  to  the  individual  but  also  prevents  persons  who 
are  determined  to  be  mentally,  physically,  morally,  or  professionally  unqualified  for 
promotion  from  assuming  the  higher  grade.  Information  about  this  process  has  been 
provided  to  your  staff. 

In  summary,  mistakes  were  made.  We  have  learned  from  these  mistakes,  and  will 
continue  to  work  to  avoid  their  reoccurrence.  In  particular,  we  want  Sergeant  Field- 
er's family  to  know  that  we  honor  their  son's  service  and  sacrifice. 

Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  appear  before  you  today. 


88 


89 


90 


91 


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•"  -"  ?«"»»«»:  subcommittee 
M  'o«Bti«?tions 

CXH(B»T  #  _       ^ 


92-497  0-95-4 


92 


ELECTRO\ :  T  l.'A  FORM  •:' ?:  <  RE/.  OMMENDAT  1  ON  Ff.-r,  AWARD' 

".ER  '.  TOR  :  CL'r  A1--:;  EV^r.Er.T 

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Ar>0    MY    i??S09  *?&    f>'Y    &?2C? 

PART     :     -    F£r.  KONAI.    r.'.ATA 

i.  DALY.  JOHN  HAROLD  JR.  '<■-■       S5H-SS-31S*  _    c-.  J-T-__  «■   I2A00 

5t  h;_;7  3?.D  SQUADRON  3RD  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT.  FT.  BLI?S,  T;.«A:-   7yM£ 

*.  BRONZE  ST  A3  MEDAL  s=r OC. 1  IT   7.   WO 

£ .  ASAP 

9.  NO 

PART  II  -  RECOMMENDATION  FOR  AWARD  FOR  ACHIEVEMENT  OS  SERVICE 

10.  24  EE?  90-7  MAR  ?2 

12.   AA."1  COLO,  ARCOM  •'.;:  OLC).  MSM  (1  OLCJ 

FAR7  III  -   N/A 

PAR7  IV  -  PROPOSED  CITATION 

FOR  EXCEPTIONALLY  MERITORIOUS  AND  VALORGUS  ACHIEVEMENT  as  COMMANDS?* 

THIRD  SQUADRON,  THIRD  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT,  DURING  OPERATIONS  DESERT 

SHIELD  AND  DESERT  STORM.   THROUGH  HIS  CALM  BUT  TENACIOUS  LEADERSHIP,  THE 

THUNDER  SQUADRON  SMOOTHLY  TRANSITIONED  FROM  A  CONUS  .FIELD   ENVIRONMENT  TO 

COMSAT  OPERATIONS  IN  SOUTH  WEST  ASIA,  OVERCOMING  EXTREMES  OF  ENVIRONMENT 

AND  DISTANCE  A3  WELL  AS  FiELDiKS  0-  ALL  New  COMBAT  SYSTEMS.   CURING  COMBAT 

OPERATIONS  DEEP  INTO  IRAQ,  HE  ALWAYS  LED  SY  EXAMPLE  AT  THH  SQUADRON'S 

CRITICAL  POINTS  CM  THE  BATTLEFIELD,  EXPERTLY  GUIDING  THE   SQUADRON'S  COMSAT 

FORCE  TO  QUICKLY  OVERWHELM  ENEMY  RESISTANCE.   LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  DALY'S 

MANNER  OF  PERFORMANCE  REFLECTS  GREAT  CREDIT  ON  HIMSELF.  THE  REGIMENT  OF 

MOUNTED  RIFLEMEN  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  ARMY. 

PART  V  -  OTHER  INSTRUCTIONS  AND  AUTHENTICATION 

16.   NARRATIVE  '-T.   REGIMENTAL  COMMANDER 

IS.  :*!  DOUGLAS  H.  STARR,  ASRD  COL 
:•?.   COMMANDER,  3RD  AC?..  COMMANDING 


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exhibit  # 5, 


93 


.fc«Ar,FAT  I  v'l 

WHILE  SERVING  AS  COMMANDER,  C-D  S&UADRON.  GD  ARMORED  CAVALRY 
REG  IMENT  DURING  OPERATION?  DESERT  SKI  ELD  AND  DE9ERT  STORM;  lTC 
.JOHN  DALY  HAS  DISTINGUISHED  HIMSELF  BY  DOTH  MERITORIOUS  ANB 
VALOROUS  ACTION.   FROn  10  AUGUST  1990  TO  17  JANUARY  1991.  LTC 
DALY'S  CALK  BUT  TENACIOUS  LEADERSHIP  UAS  EVER  PRESENT  AS  HE 
FORMED  THE  SQUADRON  INTO  AN  AGILE,  COHESIVE  FIGHT  I  NO  UNIT  WHILE 
SIMULTANEOUSLY  ENSURING  THE  BELT  LIVING  CONDITIONS  POSSIBLE  FOP. 
HIS  TROOPERS.  DURING  THE  GROUND  CAMPAIGN.  24-23  FEBRUARY  1991, 
LTC  DALY  DISTINGUISHED  HInSELF  EY  VALOROUS  ACTION  DY  CONSISTENTLY 
PLACING  HIMSELF  i^ITH  THE  LEAD  TROOP  OR  POINT  OF  MOST  LIKELY  ENEMY 
CONTACT  DURING  OUR  200  MILE  OFFENSIVE  DRIVE  INTO  IRAQ.   THE  MOST 
SIGNIFICANT  DEMONSTRATION  OF  VALOR  OCCURED  ON  26-27  FEBRUARY 
1991;  DURING  A  NIGHT  ATTACK  OF  AN  ENEMY  AIRFIELD.   AS  THE 
S3UADR0N  CLOSED  ON  THE  OBJECTIVE  AREA.  I  TROOP  REPORTED  THEY  WERE 
RECEIVING  HOSTILE  FIRE.   LTC  DALY,  WITHOUT  HESITATION  OR  CONCERN 
FOR  HIS  PERSONAL  SAFETY,  MOVED  TO  THE  POINT  OF  CONTACT. 
MONITORING  THE  BATTLE  FROM  THE  TfcC,  IT  MAS. APPARENT  THAT  LTC  DALY 
HAD  MOVED  INTO  AN  AREA  IN  WHICH  DISMOUNTED  TROOPS  AND  AT  LEAST 
ONE  BURNING  VEHICLE  HAD  BEEN  OBSERVED.   LTC  DALY  CALMLY  AND 
SYSTEMATICALLY  SORTED  THROUGH  THE  CONFUSION  AND  DIRECTED  THE 
ACTIONS  OF  I  TROOP  IN  CLEARING  THE  OBJECTIVE.  '  AT  ONE  POINT 
DISMOUNTING  HIS  OWN  OBSERVERS  TO  ASSIST.   THROUGHOUT  THIS  ENTIRE 
NIGHT  ATTACK, .AND  GROUND  CAMPAIGN.  LTC  DALY'S  CALM  AND  DECISIVE 
LEADERSHIP  UAS  EVER  PRESENT.   IN  ALL  PHASES  OF  THIS  OPERATION, 
LTC  DALY'S  SERVICE  HAS  BEEN  REPLEAT  WITH  VAOLuRIOUS  AND 
MERITORIOUS  ACTION. 


94 


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6--on-»,*u  John  Daly  has  done  an  absolutely  outstanding  job  la  Desert  Shield  and  Storm.  Orche- 
strating the  deployment" of  his  Squadron  by  rail,  air,  and  sea  over  10,000  miles,  he  deployed 
safely  and  efficiently,  prepared  to  move  into  the  desert  almost  immediately  upon  arrival  in 
Saudi  Arabia.  After  moving  directly  into  the  desert  from' port,  John  commenced  a  desert  train- 
ing and  maintenance  program  designed  to  emphasize  and  Improve  desert  training  begun  at  Ft. 
Bliss  for  KTC.  He  focused  on  individual  training  due  to  having  several  hundred  new  arrivals, 
but  integrated  the  focus  on  maintenance/ services  and  collective  Squadron  maneuver  skills  re- 
quisite to  success  In  desert  operations.  As  a  result'' his' Squadron  enjoyed  exceptionally  good 
OR  rates  (95-981  combat  vehicles)  and  rapidly  became  a  tactically  adroit  combat-ready  Squad- 
ron. In  Desert  Storm  John  crossed  the  ID  with  the  difficult  mission  of  screening  the  Corps 
right  flank  up  to  123  KM  at  one  point  and  moved  bis  Squadron  over  325  KH  In  48  hra,  capturing 
during  one  night  attack  an  Important  airfield  subsequently  used  by  the  101st  Air  Assault  Div. 
for  offensive  operations.  John's  Squadron  switched  out  both  Its  tank  and  Bradley  Fleet  (the 
tanks  only  two  days  before  the  ground -var)  and  It  took  care  of  Its  soldiers  and  waiting  family 
aembers  beautifully.  As  a  result,  morale  and  esprit  and  a  winning  attitude  mrevalled.  Through 
John's  talent  and  drive,  the  Squadron  vas  a  key  co  the  Regiment's  success  1st  Saudi  Arabia  and 
Iraq.  This  Squadron  accomplished  every  mission  given  It  quickly,  violently,  and  successfully! 


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John 'Daly  has  It  all  -  all  of  the  traits  and  (characteristics  requisite  to' 
service  at  the  very  highest  levels.  Promote  ASAF  -  must  command  a  Brigade/Regiment.  John  is 
without  question  General  Officer  material. 


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-=>—'■•"           LTC   John  Daly's    performance   at    a    squadron   commander 
during  all   phases  of  Desert  Shield/Storm  was   simply  outstand- 
ing.     He    possesses    and   blends    all    Cbe    skills    and    attribute*    to 
make   him. truly   one    of    the   very  heat.      His   maintenance    and 
training  programs   conducted   In  a  harsh,   bare-based   environ- 
ment  resulted   inls   combat   ready  maneuver  force.      Klslaoldiers 
and   combat   systems  performed   flawlessly,    even   though  he 'switch 
ed   out   tanks   and  Bradleys   Just   two  daya  before   Che   ground 
attack.   .  John's   squadron   performed   the   crlticsl  mission   of 
screening  the  Corps    flank  with  VII   Corps    (at   one   point   this 
stretched  him   1251)    In  a  magnificent   fashion.      This   allowed 
both   Corps   to  rapidly,  exploit   the   tactical   situation   and  con- 
tributed   significantly    to    the    overwhelming    success    of   Desert 
Storm.       unlimited   potential.       Sslcct    for   Army  Vac    College. 
Promote   and -select  -for- 06    level  'command.      CO.    potential. 


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Q&A:  Questions  were  asked  by  Captain  Jacquot  and  answered  by  LTC  Daly. 

Q:  Who  told  you  at  the  passage  point  not  to  fire  south  of  50  gridline  and  turn 
attack  from  N/S  to  E/W? 
A:  Colonel  Starr. 

Q:  Were  you  informed  that  1st  AD  had  reported  the  airport  clear  and  friendlies 

in  the  area? 

A:  No,  I  thought  it  was  a  hostile  airfield  and  I  encountered  an  airfield  that 

was  much  more  extensive  than  what  I  had  seen  on  the  map.  I  was  expecting  a  dirt 

airstrip. 

Q:  Did  anyone  at  Regiment  authorize  you  to  engage  targets  outside  the  boundary? 
A:  No. 

Q:  What  is  your  understanding  of  the  ROE  as  applied  to  firing  outside  the 

boundary? 

A:  If  I  am  in  contact  and  receiving  hostile  fire,  I  may  return  fire. 

Q:  Did  you  see  imagery  of  the  airfield? 

A:  No,  I  did  not  see  any  imagery  for  this  attack  or  any  other  attack  I  was 
involved  in  during  the  war.  All  the  imagery  that  I  saw  during  the  war  appeared 
to  be  outdated  and  Irrelevant.  I  saw  no  imagery  for  this  attack. 

Q:  a)  What  do  you  recall  as  weather  conditions?  b)  Did  they  have  any  effect 
on  the  situation? 

A:  a)  It  had  stopped  raining,  it  was  cold,  with  a  slight  wind.  Illumination 
was  not  a  factor  since  the  burning  building  (which  I  now  know  to  be  a  trailer) 
was  brighter  than  any  other  Illumination.  However,  the  cloud  cover  brought  the 
illumination  to  down  near  zero,  b)  The  weather  had  no  effect  on  the  immediate 
situation ^  however,  the- rain  storms  earlier  in  the  evening  may  have  had  a 
general  effect  on  the  soldiers. 


«Hth 


Q:  Why  did  the  squadron  commander  authorize  his  own  gunner  to  fire  the  fatal 
rounds  when  he  had  numerous  other  combat  vehicles  available,  several  which  were 
closer  to  the  target? 

A:  Because  the  SQD  CMDR  had  absolute  control  over  his  gunner  and. did  not  have 
to  operate  through  anyone  else.  Furthermore,  the  difference  in  proximity  to  the 
target  was  one  vehicle  length  at  the  most,  making  distance  to  the  target  not  a 
factor.  


IKITIAJ.I  Of  •V'W*  **¥*<>  »TATIMI«T 


ADDITIONAL  PAOES  MUST  CONTAIN  THE  HBADINO •'STATEMENT  OF^AKEN  AT —]>££*>. 'ff^fr^S^T  AND 
tm    i^^vu.  /-.■•  »./-»j    innirtnMir    VACtF  MfflT  Miff  TJtf  INITIALS  OF  THE  PERSON  MAKING   THE.  31  A  ie«ni 


THE  BOTTOM  OF  BACH  ADDITIONAL  PAOB  MUST  BEAM  THE  INITIALS  OF  TMXMatSON 
BE  INITIALED  AS  "PAO 
MM  UMBO  OUT.  AND  Tt. 

D  A  i  jul*tj  2823    •u»««"°"  •*  ">—  ***•• '  •""*  "•  m"Q"  w"-l  **  o"i>' 


MB~tNrnALSD~AS~"p'AOB        o'f_  PAOES  -    WHEN  ADDITIONAL  PAOES  ARE  UTILIZED.  THE ■»£*  °*  **25  'rHaioRM 
MM  UNEDOVTANDTHbTtatJmBNT  WILL  MB  CONCLUDED  ON  THE  RSYSRSE  SIDE  OF  ANOTHZ*  COPY  OF  TUB  FOKM 


r  v « i 


100 


•  TAT«M«MT  (Til— iO 

Q:  Were  all  your  personnel  wearing  CVC  helmets? 
A:  Yes. 

Q:  Why  could  the  engineers  hear  the  voices  of  the  2,2  pe 
attack  well  enough  to  identify  them  as  Americans,  but  the 
to  hear  the  engineers  yelling  to  each  other? 
A:  If  you  have  CVC  helmets  on  .and  the  engines  are  runnir 
hear  as  well  as  someone  standing  on  the  ground.  The  er.ci 
no  actions, verbal  or  gestures, to  indicate  that  they  were 

Q:  Why  did  the  victoms  clearly  identify  the  3/3  vehicles 
through  NVGs  before  any_  rounds  were  f  i.  ed  but  the  3/3  per 
identify  through  their  thermal  sights  the  target  vehicles 
all  had  both  appropriate  coalition  markings  and  thermal  i 
A:  I  have  no  earthly  idea,  by  the  time  I  was  on  the  seen 
large  burning  mass  and  everything  else  was  unrecognizable 

Q:  Is  there  anything  else  you  would  like  to  add? 


A:  No 


sonnel  before  the 
3/3  personnel  failed 

g  you  obviously  cannot 
neer  soldiers  undertook 
'riendly  forces.  *&" 

as  U.S.  by  type 
sonnel  failed  to 

The  target  vehicles 
dentif ication  devices, 
e  I  was  confronted  by  a 


j~/*  m.  Mir 


APFIOAVIT 


■UT  vmicm  •com*  OH  »»Ot  I  ABO  (MM  ON  »ac«       fc  .    I  rumr  uaOIUT'HO  THC 
■  *0»  av  tat.     TRC  I TiTlMKT  If  THUS.     I  a>vl  IHlTIAlIO  All  COAKCCTIOIU  »«0  HAV 
COaTUMag  TNC  STATUCHT.    I  MAVC  HAM  mil  tTATCHCMT  raHLV  WITHOUT 

or  ouaiitMsCMT.  Ana  without  cocmcion.  u»v.a»«uc  mrLulno.  on  unkAsruk, 


HAVI  MAO  OH  MAVC  MAS  HCAO  TO  »«  Tall  STATS- 

nriai  lTAToaCHT 

•OTTOU  OP  CACM  »»«€ 
CWAAO.  WITHOUT  THACAT 


«•  aaaataUaar  «■*».  aal«.T**        tm  «f         f/\l* 


OMAWUTWII  oa  aOOOIU 


f»l» HaM  alfl   aaal4aaaaaaaaaa«a«,aaaaa» 


oa«AMi*Tioa  oa  Aooaui 


oc/^y  i*m,    t3  6 


t«iTi*c*  or  P<— I  m*p1ih«  IT*  HWH 


<X      ••*       -ji 


1QAT    -i     .     >0» 


EXKIEIT    l\    3! 


101 


'"sifc  ^manent  SUbcUmm,itet! 
on  Innesijjjs'ioiv 


B5»RT  #. |p 

SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LTC  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

LTC  D:     opposed  to  north/south.   What  that  translated  into  was 
'.Cant J     an  east/west  cut  to  the  south  and  then  continued 
east/west  again. 

BG  H:      Had  you  been  told  about  the  report  that  there  were 

friendlies  in  the  area  and  that  the  3d  ACR  request  -for 
a  bu-f.-fer  zone  had  been  disapproved?   Did  you  know  about 
this  bu-f-fer  rone  and  -friendly  report?   Had  you  been 
told  that  by  the  3d  ACR? 

LTC  D:      Sir,  I  don't  recall  being  told  that.   I  know  there  was 
discussion  about  the  boundary  but  as  -far  as  I  knew.  I 
was  attacking  through  a  -forward  -force  into  enemy 
territory  and  to  the  south  o-f  me...  I  was  the  -furthest 
force  -forward. 

BG  H:      Did  anyone  tell  you  why  they  changed  the  axis  o-f  the 
attack  or  did  you  just  get  a  radio  message  that  said 
attack  east/west?   Did  you  understand  why  that  was  all 
done? 

LTC  D:     Yes,  Sir.   I  understood  that  it  was  because  there  was  a 
boundary  there. 


p  ,F  ii  «  A  r 


102 


SWORN  TESTIHONY  OF  LTC  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

BG  H:      You  didn't  know  anything  about  a  buffer  zone? 

LTC  D:     Nat  because  there  were  friendlies  there.   It's  because 
there  was  an  intellectual  discussion  about  a  boundary 
as  opposed  to  "There  are  friendly  forces  to  your 
south. " 

BG  H:      Had  you  heard  anything  about  a  buffer  zone  request  and 
disapproval  of  the  buffer  zone? 

LTC  D:     Sir,  I  don't  recall  that. 

BG  H:      What  specific  orders  did  you  give  I  Troop  and  were  they 
told  to  expect  enemy  in  the  area?   What  did  you  plant 
in  the  mind  of  the  I  Troop  commander  as  far  as  what  he 
was  going  to  face  and  what  he  should  do? 

LTC  D:     Sir,  as  far  as  we  knew,  and  the  instructions  that  I 

gave  them,  I  was  punching  through,  as  I  said  earlier, 
to  attack  an  airfield...  attack  and  seize  an  airfield. 
Those  words  impli-ed  that  there  were  enemy  present. 
Yes,  I  expected  to  run  into  enemy.   All  reports  that  we 


32 


F.VHJRF  t 


103 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LTC  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

EG  H:      "-■■!. at  Dade  you  believe  the  vehicles  were  Iraqi?   Or 
could  you  see  the  vehicles  when  you  got  there? 

LTC  D:     Sii",  I  saw  a  building. 

BG  H:      Tid  you  ever  hear  a  report  of  a  548,  which  is  an 
American-made  vehicle? 

LTC  D:     After  the  -fact. 

BG  H:      During  this  process,  no  one  ever  told  you  that  one  of 
those  vehicles  was  an  American  made  S43? 

LTC  D:     I  saw  a  building,  Sir. 

BG  H:      You  mentioned  it  was  burning.   Did  you  ever  see  a  green 
star  cluster? 

LTC  D:  <   Yes,  Sir.   I  saw  a  green  star  cluster  come  ■from  the 

burning  mass  which  I  thought  was  a  cook-off  from  this 
mass  of  ammunition. 


40 


F  XH  r  r  t  T  c 


104 


SWORN    TESTIMONY    OF    LIEUTENANT    COLONEL    JOHN    H.     DALY,    CONTINUED: 

LTC   D:         burning.       So,    one   coke    can    with    a    light    in    it,    I    would 

have   not    seen. 
BG   H:  Did    you   ever    at    any   tine    receive    a   report    o-f    any 

friendlies   being    in    the    area'' 
LTC    D:  No    sir. 

BG   H:  Did    one    of    your    main    aissions    involve  maintaining 

any   contact    with    any   VII    Corps  unit? 
LTC   D:         No   sir. 
BG   H:  Yours   was    just    strictly    attack    and    take    the   air-field? 

And    you   did    not    have    any    coordination    mission   or 

boundary   Bission? 
LTC   D:         No    sir. 
BG   H:  Why   did    you   have    in    your    attack    ■formation    so   »uch    -fire 

power    •forward    with    a   unclear    enemy    situation?      In   other 

words    why   did    you    chose    that    formation? 
LTC   D;         Because,    I    was    in    the    attack    mode    sir.       Me    were 

attacking    to   seize   an    airfield    and    so   rather    than 

putting    scouts   -forward    at    that    time    I    put    my   heavy 

metal    -forward. 
BG    H:  In    a    letter    to    a    senator    CPT   Friesen    has   made    a   couple 

of    allegations,    that    I'd    like   to   ask   you   about   and 

give    a    chance    to   coaocnt.       One   o-f    those   had    to   do   with 


105 


Z    -,-~~l    TC~.7It:0NY  OF  LTC  DA_Y  ,  "'."I  V_EZ  : 

'_TC  D:     7  -,  -...■  sap  sheet  i.-.d  overlay  had  the  Corps  tour::-.  z~ 
i  'w.   I  cvcrhcsrd  portions  of  the  discussion  that  the 
rcgi.-r.er.t  haC  with  ...  with  the  regimental  commander 
speaking  ts  the  """  :;;_t  the  boundary  being  there.   I 
did  not  understand  that  there  were  portions  of  their 
train;  there.   As  -far  as  I  knew,  I  was  attacking  ir.to 
en  area  that  had  no  enemy  in  it.   That  boundary,  yes, 
extended  -forward,  but  I  did  not  understand  that  the'e 
»-~s  -friendly  -forces  there. 

D3  H:      CFT  Friesen  testified  that  the  impression  he  had...  ths 
i i. formation  thst"he  had  was  that  he  should  e::pect  to 
encounter  some  dug-in  Iraqis  there,  perhaps  even  up  to 
battali-on  size.   Do  you  know  if  that  was  the 
infercation  he  was  given?   What  was  your  impression 
about  the  enemy  that  was  likely  there?   Did  you  go  in 
with  the  impression  that  there  probably  were  enemy 
there  or  there  probably  were  not  enemy  there  or  what  c: 
you  think  the  mind-set  was?   Did  you  go  in  with  the 
impression  that  there  probably  wb'b  enemy  there  or 
there  probably  were  not  enemy  there  or  what  do  you 
think  the  mind-set  was  at  your  level  concerning  that 
objective  and  what  to  e::pect  there"1 


EXHIBIT 


106 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

LTC  D:    No  sir.   We  talked  on  the  radio. 

BG  H:     Why  did  you  think  the  attack  direction  was  changed? 
What  did  you  think  about  that  mission  change? 

LTC  D:    I  knew  that  they  did  not  want  to  go  South  of  a  Line, 
because  that  was  the  Corps  boundary.   My  impression 
was,  and  this  was  a  year  later,  so  it  a  little  hazy. 
There  weren't  people  there  but  we  were  honoring  the 
boundary. 

BG  H:     Did  you  get  a  update  on  the  enemy  situation  at  that 
time  and  the  friendly  situation,  at  that  time? 

LTC  D:    No,  I  just  don't  remember  sir. 

BG  H:     So,  when  you  attacked,  the  enemy  situation  in  your  mind 
was  basically  the  same  as  your  were  brie-fed  previously 
which  is  there  were  people  on  the  objective? 

LTC  D:    There  should  have  been  people  on  the  objective  and  the 
people  were  either  giving  up  in  droves  on  not  giving  up 
in  droves.   My  impression  was  that  all  across  the  Army 
we  just  did  not  know.   Every  time  you  came  across  an 
Iraqi,  it  was  another  situation  that  you  better  be 
careful  with. 

BG  H:     Did  anyone  ever  give  you  any  specific  locations  of 

friendlies  or  even  the  word  that  probably  there  were 


107 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

LTC  D:    not  have  a  direct  conversation  about  that.   There  may 
have  been  conversation  on  the  Regimental  net  about 
that.   But,  sir  you  have  to  understand  this  is  more  -for 
the  record  and  I  don't  mean  to  lecture  you.   The  phrase 
"It  was  a  dark  and  stormy  night",  took  on  added  meaning 
for  us.   It  was  very  dark  and  it  was  very  wet  and  we 
were  trying  to  do  something  that  is  at  all  times  a 
dicey  operation  and  that  is  pass  one  combat  unit 
through  another  combat  unit.   While  that  was  going  on 
we  were  then  going  to  make  a  change  in  the  plan  and  the 
plan  at  that  point  had  been  strictly  a  radio  plan  at 
that  point.   All  of  my  concentration  was  on  moving  my 
force,  keeping  my  force  intact  and  in  contact  with  each 
other  and  trying  to  do  this  pass  through,  make  a  right, 
make  a  left  and  then  attack.   My  concentration  was  not 
on  the  Regimental  Commanders  net.   I  was  concentrated 
on  my  troop  commanders  in  moving  through  the  1st 
Squadron. 

BG  H:     After  you  had  this  change  in  mission.   Did  you  ever 
have  eye  to  eye  contact  with  COL  Starr? 

LTC  D:    Not  to  my  recollection.   No  sir. 

BG  H:     He  never  came  down  and  briefed  after  the  change? 


108 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LTC  DALY,  CONTINUED: 


SG  H:      Just  two  simple  questions.   The  first  is  the  troop 

command-cr  said  that  he  had  called  a  cease  fire  cr  check 
•fire  o-f  mis  unit,  did  you  hear  that?   Had  that  bear. 
transmitted  back  to  you? 

LTC  D:     Sir,  the  first  I  knew  of  that  was  when  I  read  it  in  the 

Washington  Post. 


EG  H: 


LTC  D: 


BG  H: 


TC  D: 


Tell  ir.s  a  little  bit  more  about  the  events  right  when 
you  had  your  gunner  shoot.   Someone  said  "They're 
getting  a«; 
gunner? 


ay. 


Was  that  you  saying  that  or  your 


Mo.   That  'was  my  gunner  saying  that,  Sir. 


Is  said  that  to  youl 


Yes,  Sir,  gGT  Wolborsky.  As  you  know,  be-fore  the 

record...  CFT  Venezia  was  there  and  listening  in  the 

I 

net  as  was^  .  .  I  carried  a  commo  sergeant  in  the  back  o-f 

my  vehicle  throughout  the  war,  just  in  case.   So  he 

heard  i  t  as1  wel  1  . 


88 


EXHIBIT  H 


109 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

LTC  D:    in  contact  with  an  enemy  who  had  -fired  on  us  and  we 
were  now  assessing  the  situation  and  moving  into  a 
positions  to  either  capture  or  kill  these  people. 

BG  H:     So,  then  are  saying  that  you  -feel  his  check  -fire  was  a 
■fire  control  measure  as  opposed  to  a  legal  cease  -fire? 

LTC  D:    Yes  sir.   It  was  absolutely  not  what  has  been  reported 
in  the  press  as  a  cease  -fire-stop  the  war.   This  was 
just  a  control  measure  the  same  as  I  would  say  to  my 
gunner  in  my  tank  "Fire"  /  "Cease  Fire" 

BG  H:     Did  you  ever  check  your  position  with  that  50  Grid 
Line? 

LTC  D:    I  remember  as  I  was  moving  down  I  think  I  was  looking 
at  my  slugger,  but,  because  I  was  in  contact  with  an 
enemy  -force,  t.'-e  50  Grid  Line  no  longer  held  the  same 
meaning  for  me.   Once  I  was  told  to  go  into  that 
Southern  air-field  and  once  I  was  fired  upon.   A 
commander  who  is  contact  with  an  enemy  force  that 
has  fired  at  him  has  the  right  to  return  fire.   Thats 
how  I  viewed  the  situation. 

BG  H:     Where  any  logs  or  graphics  of  that  action,  do  you  have 
any  of  those  that  I  might  not  have? 

LTC  D:    I  don't  think  so.   My  Squadron  command  tactical 

operations  center  vehicle  went  down  just  prior  to  that 

16 


110 


s;:crw  testimony  of  ltc  daly,  continued: 

CPT  C:     I',     you  could  initial  on  the  waiver... and  also,  you  need 
t>i  :.ign  the  signature  of  interviewee.   Sir,  if  you 
cauld  sign  that  as  interviewer ... SSG  Shaver,  if  you 
could  sign  th*t  as  a  wi tness. . .Sir ,  for  the  record,  I'd 
like  to  remind  you  that  you  have  been  placed  under 
oath. 


LTC  D: 


:hec! 


CPT  C: 


Sir? 


BG  H:      CUay,  CFT  FViesen,  when  we  talked  to  him  a  few  minutes 
ago,  said  that  at  some  point  in  time,  that  night  in 
Iraq,  you  had  mentioned  to  him  to  "Keep  this  under  your 
hat."   Did  you  say  that  and  if  so  what  did  you  mean  by 
that? 

LTC  D:     Sir,  I  don't  recall  saying  that.   If  I  said  anything 

like  that  it  was  that  I  didn't  want  rumors  to  be 

running  through  the  troop  prior  to  the  investigating 

t 
officer  arriving.   The  regiment...  again,  we  were  on 

the  move.   We  were  involved  in  a  campaign  that  was 


91 


EXHIBIT  H- 


Ill 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  CONTINUED: 

BG  H:     identified  himself? 

LTC  D:    No  sir.   It  wasn't  when  the  lieutenant  identified 

himsel-f  that  we  knew  that  they  were  Americans,  it  was 
when  CPT  Vincencia  ran  back  and  told  me  they're 
Americans,  at  that  point  I  called  the  regimental 
commander. 

BG  H:     So  there  was  never  any  con-fusion  after  that? 

LTC  D;    Once  he  said  they  were  Americans  there  was  no  confusion 
at  all. 

BG  H:     And  there  was  no  attempt  to  report  it  any  other  way  by 
any  person  that  you  know  of? 

LTC  D:    No  sir. 

BG  H:     There  was  some  testimony  by  CPT  Freisen,  that  you  had 
said  to  him  to  "keep  this  under  your  hat."   Who  heard 
that  and  what  did  you  mean,  what  can  you  tell  me  about 
that  conversation? 

LTC  D:    Soldiers  like  to  talk  and  rumors  get  started  very 

easily  in  an  organization.   What  I  told  Freisen  was 
not  to  talk  to  anybody  until  we  had  an  investigator 
here,  because  I  knew  by  the  time  spoke  to  Freisen.   The 
Regimental  Commander  had  told  me  to  freeze  everything 
in  place  and  that  he  was  sending  an  investigator 

21 


112 


on  twestigations 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  RONALD  H.  GRIFFITH, 
CONTINUED: 


LTG  Gi     after  he  left  I  told  him  I'd  go  out  there  and  check  it 
out  and  see  what  it  was.   If  it  was  the  same  airfield  I 
personally  went  up  to  the  air-field  in  my  HUMMV. 

BG  H:      It  is  a  little  confusing,  because  there  are  two  airfields 
in  that  general  vicinity  about  20kms  apart  out  in  the 
middle  of  the  desert.   So,  witnesses  »re    sometimes  are 
confusing  the  two  and  I'm  not  sure.   Obviously,  you 
either  passed  over  or  our  your  troops  passed  over  that 
airfield  or  very  near  it. 

LTG  G:   .  Yes,  I  think  that  the  elements  of  our  2d  Brigade 

crossed  directly  over  it,  but  I  could  not  be  certain 
about  that. 

BG  H:      And  it  is  clear  that  1st  Armored  Division  reported 

back  to  the  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  that  they  felt 
the  airfield  was  cleared? 

LTG  G:     Right. 

BG  H:      Sir,  do  you  have  anything  further  to  add? 

LTG  G:     No,  I  don't  have  anything  further.   That  is  all  I 

know'  at  first  hand.   Again  I  would  like  to  emphasize 
that  there  was  plenty  of  discussion  and  it  should  have 
been  absolutely  clear  in  those  discussions  between  us 
and  the  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment,  because  at  that  time 
we  were  not  vague  about  the  airfield.   Because  we  were  . 


113 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  LIEUTENANT  GENERAL  RONALD  H.  GRIFFITH, 
CONTINUED: 


LTQ  Gi     not  talking  about  whether  or  not  it  was  one  or  two 

airfields.   We  were  talking  about  a  specific  grid  on  the 
ground.   Again,  we  made  it  clear  that  we  had  people  in 
that  area  and  that  we  did  not  want  firing  in  that  area 
because  we  had  people  on  the  ground  in  that  area. 

BG  H:      O.K.  sir,  thank  very  much  for  your  statement. 


114 


Eor^*     _t2L_ 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  COLONEL  DOUGLAS  H.  STARR,  CONTINUED: 

COL  S:   directly  on  the  boundary  and  that  was  what  cause  me  to 
ask  for  it. 

BG  Hi    Did  you  know  the  reason  why  the  buffer  rone  was  denied? 

COL  S:   I  was  not  told  the  first  time  why  the  bu-f-fer  zone  was 
denied,  but  I  asked  that  question.   At  the  same  time  I 
asked  my  folks  to  go  back  and  emphasize  the  need  for  the 
buffer  zone  and  the  boundary  shift.   I  quess  I  ought  to 
depart  from  here  for  just  a  second,  we  have  been  using 
interchangeably  the  term  buffer  zone  and  boundary  shift, 
when  in  actuality  what  we  had  asked  for  was  an  extension 
of  the  zone  of  5  kilometers  deep  or  South  and  of  a 
certain  width  and  I  can't  remember  exactly  but  we  drew 
the  box  on  the  map  and  I  was  very  clear  to  the  1st 
Armored  Division,  but  they  denied  that.   I  asked  why  and 
I  asked  for  it  again,  but  when  they  came  back  and 
indicated  that  I  could  not  have  it,  that  indicated  to  me 
In  terms  that  they  could  not  be  certain  whether  they  had 
any  troops  there. 

BG  H:    Do  you. recall  if  you  passed  that  information  to  the 
squadrons? 

COL  Si   I  passed  to  them  the  fact  that  we  could  not  have  the 
boundary  shift.   The  reason  why  we  could  not  have  the 
boundary  shift  was  because  the  1st  Armored  Division 


/ 


115 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  COLONEL  DOUGLAS  H.  STARR,  CONTINUED: 

COL  S:   like  everyone  else  could  not  account  -for  every  vehicle. 
I  passed  that  to  the  3d  Squadron  at  the  same  time  that 
I  changed  the  graphics  and  the  order  to  move  North  bound 
through  the  new  access  West  -  East. 

BG  H:    Can  you  recall  if  that  was  in  an  personal  conversation 
between  you  and  LTC  Daly  or  was  that  TOC  to  TOC? 

COL  S:   It  was  all  three,  TOC  to  TOC,  it  was  my  S-3  to  the 

3d  Squadron  operations  oHicer  and  right  be-fore  the  LD 
time  my  S-3  and  I  drove  over  there  in  Bradley*  and  met 
with  both  the  3d  Squadron  S-3  and  the  3d  Squadron 
Commander  and  went  over  the  new  graphics  which  comprised 
of  an  attack  West  -  East  and  reaffirm  the  sanctity  of  the 
original  boundary  which  I  think  was  the  50  grid  line. 

BS  H:    Did  LTC  Daly  back  brie-f  you  on  his  plan? 

COL  S:   In  an  informal  sense,  yes  he  did.   I  questioned  him  at 
some  length  how  he  was  positioning  forces  to  do  that. 

BG  H:    When  you  changed  your  attack  plan  what  was  your 

assessment  of  the  battle  field  at  that  time  and  the  enemy 
situation? 

COL  S:   Well,  it  was  very  uncertain  I  think  everyone  was  a  little 
perplexed  as  to  why  we  were  not  meeting  more  resistance 
and  encountering  more  enemy.   We  had  no  indication  that 


116 


SWORN  TESTIMONY  OF  COLONEL  DOUGLAS  H.  STARR,  CONTINUED: 

COL  S:   the  air-field  would  be  occupied,  but  we  knew  that  if 

there  were  any  likelihood  of  encountering  resistance  that 
it  would  be  out  of  that  built  up  area  of  the  airfield. 

BG  H:    So  based  on  the  1st  Armored  Division's  report  that  they 

had  passed  near  that  airfield  and  the  OHSSD  recon  and  the 
intelligence  situation  you  felt  that  there  may  be  or  may 
not  be  enemy  on  the  objective? 

COL  S:   To  my  knowledge  both  then  and  -know,  no  one  had  passed 
through  that  airfield.   We  had  done  some  aviation 
reconnaissance,  but  of  course  I  had  no  troops  on  the 
ground  out  there.   I  had  no  reason  to  believe  that  there 
was  enemy  out  there  but  again  like  I  said  because  of  the 
fluid  nature  of  this  situation  and  our  wondering  where 
the  Iraqi  troops  were.   We  thought  that  if  we  did  run 
into  any  enemies  that  night  it  would  be  at  that  airfield. 

BG  H:    You  decided  to  go  ahead  and  fire  the  artillery  prep. 
Did  you  offset  that  some  or  did  you  go  ahead  and  fire 
it  because  of  the  uncertain  enemy  situation?   What  was 
your  thinking  on  the  prep? 

COL  S:   My  thinking  was  that  it  was  a  likely  enemy  location 
it  was  in  fact  an  objective  and  it  was  Just  logical 


117 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

HEADQUARTERS  FORCES  COMMAND 
FORT  MCPHERSON.  GEORGIA  30330-6000 


FCJA  14  April  1992 

MEMORANDUM  FOR  FIRST  LIEUTENANT  KEVIN  J.  WESSELS,  EXECUTIVE 
OFFICER,  HEADQUARTERS  AND  HEADQUARTERS 
COMPANY,  54TH  ENGINEER  BATTALION,  WILDFLECKEN, 
GERMANY,  APO  NY  09026 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Admonition 

1.  It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  while  serving  as  the 
Executive  Officer,  Company  C,  54th  Engineer  Battalion,  during 
Operation  DESERT  STORM,  elements  of  Company  C  were  under  your 
command  while  you  were  located  south  of  an  Iraqi  airfield 
waiting  recovery  of  your  disabled  vehicle.   During  the  early 
morning  hours  of  27  February  1991,  elements  of  the  3d  Armored 
Cavalry  Regiment  took  action  to  secure  this  airfield  which 
resulted  in  the  death  of  one  of  the  soldiers  under  your  command, 
Corporal  Lance  Fielder. 

2.  A  review  of  the  Report  of  Investigation  into  this  matter 
reveals  that  you  should  have  been  more  diligent  in  the  execution 
of  your  duties  and  responsibilities  concerning  defensive 
measures  against  an  enemy  attack.   Your  failing  may  have 
indirectly  contributed  to  this  tragic  incident.   You  are 
admonished  for  your  inattention  to  detail. 

3 .  This  admonition  is  imposed  as  an  administrative  measure  and 
not  as  punishment  under  the  provisions  of  Article  15,  UCMJ,  and 
I  am  not  making  it  a  part  of  your  official  military  records. 
However,  I  expect  you  to  take  appropriate  corrective  action. 


EDWIN  H.  BURBA,  JR. 
General,  USA 
Commanding  General 


-f 


Se"ne  *™"«m  Suhcomm.tt* 

*  '""WigltKWj 

EXUlHTi  t> 


118 


A 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARM' 

HE ADOUARTERS  FORCES  COMMAND 
FORT  MCPHERSON  GEORGIA  30330-6000 


FCJA  14  April  1992 

MEMORANDUM  THRU  COMMANDER,  U.S.  ARMY  AIR  DEFENSE  ARTILLERY 
CENTER  AND  FORT  BLISS,  FORT  BLISS,  TX 
79916-0058 

FOR  CAPTAIN  BODO  H.  FRT^SEN,  CHIEF,  TRAINING  DIVISION, 
DIRECTORATE  OF  PLANS,  TRAINING,  MOBILIZATION  AND 
SECURITY,  FORT  BLISS,  TX   79916-0058 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  while  serving  as  Commander, 
I  Troop,  3d  Squadron,  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  during 
Operation  DESERT  STORM,  elements  of  your  command  conducted  a 
combat  assault  on  a  neighboring  airfield  during  the  early  morning 
hours  of  27  February  1991.   During  this  assault,  elements  of 
Company  C,  54th  Engineer  Battalion,  were  engaged  resulting  in  the 
death  of  Corporal  Lance  Fielder. 

2.  A  review  of  the  attached  report  of  investigation  reveals  that 
you  were  negligent  in  executing  your  mission.   After  reviewing 
the  report,  I  have  a  sound  appreciation  for  the  conditions  at  the 
time.   It  is  my  understanding  that  you  were  working  with  old 
maps,  in  bad  weather,  and  at  night.   I  also  realize  that  you  were 
conducting  maneuver  operations  along  a  Corps  boundary,  which  is 
difficult  under  circumstances  of  precise  friendly  locations  and 
high  fidelity  communication,  circumstances  not  attendant  to  your 
situation.   You  were  further  challenged  with  severe  sleep 
deprivation,  having  to  conduct  this  complex  operation  as  your 
first  fire  fight  under  night  vision  device  conditions,  receiving 
erroneous  spot  reports  of  incoming  fire  and  accommodating  to 
adjacent  friendly  forces  with  inadequate  and  non-operating 
anti-fratricide  devices. 

3.  Despite  these  extenuating  conditions,  I  am  unable  to  explain 
or  excuse  the  death  of  Corporal  Fielder  as  an  unfortunate 
incident  of  war.   By  negligently  failing  to  ensure  that  you  did 
not  violate  the  Corps  boundary  on  your  right  flank,  you 
indirectly  contributed  to  this  tragic  incident. 

4 .  This  reprimand  is  imposed  as  an  administrative  measure  and 
not  as  punishment  under  the  provisions  of  Article  15,  UCMJ.   You 


Sonne  ParmaiMiri   yshcwnmittefc 
EXHSBfT  #'.    .JH 


119 


FCJA 
SUBJECT: 


Memorandum   of    Reprimand 


are   directed   to   acknowledge   receipt    of    this   reprimand.      You   have 
3  0   days    from   the   date   of    this    Reprimand   to   make   any    statement    you 
wish  me  to  consider  concerning   this  matter.      I   have   not  decided 
if  this   letter  will  be   filed    in  your  Official  Military   Personnel 
File.      I   will  make   that  decision   after   receipt  of   your 
acknowledgment   and   a  review   of   any   statement  that   you  may  elect 
to  make,    or  the   lapse  of   thirty   days  without  receipt  of  any 
statement,    whichever  is  sooner. 


EDWIN   H.    BURBA,    JR. 
General,    USA 
Commanding   General 


120 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

HEAOOUARTERS  FORCES  COMMANO 
FORT  MCPHERSON.  GEORGIA  30330-6000 


(M 


PIPIT  TO 
ATTENTION  Of 


FCJA  14  April  1992 

MEMORANDUM  THRU 

COMMANDER,  XVIII  AIRBORNE  CORPS  AND  FORT  BRAGG, 
FORT  BRAGG,  NC   28307-5000 

COMMANDER,  3D  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT,  FORT  BLISS,  TX 
79916-0058 

FOR  LIEUTENANT  COLONEL  JOHN  H.  DALY,  JR.  ,  -3-D-  SQUADRON, 

3D  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT,  FORT  BLISS,  TX   79916-0058 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  while  serving  as  Commander, 
3d  Squadron,  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  during  Operation  DESERT 
STORM,  elements  of  your  command  conducted  a  combat  assault  on  a 
neighboring  airfield  during  the  early  morning  hours  of 

27  February  1991.   During  this  assault,  elements  of  Company  C, 
54th  Engineer  Battalion,  were  engaged  .resulting  in  the  death  of 
Corporal  Lance  Fielder.   A  review  of  the  attached  report  of 
investigation  reveals  that  you  erred  in  judgment  during  the 
execution  of  your  mission. 

2.  After  reviewing  the  report,  I  have  a  sound  appreciation  for 
the  conditions  at  the  time.   It  is  my  understanding  that  you  were 
working  with  old  maps,  in  bad  weather,  aad  at  night.   I  also 
realize  that  you  were  conducting  maneuver  operations  along  a 
Corps  boundary,  which  is  difficult  under  circumstances  of  precise 
friendly  locations  and  high  fidelity  communication,  circumstances 
not  attendant  to  your  situation.   You  were  further  challenged 
with  severe  sleep  deprivation,  having  to  conduct  this  complex 
operation  as  your  first  fire  fight  under  night  vision  device 
conditions,  receiving  erroneous  spot  reports  of  incoming  fire  and 
accommodating  to  adjacent  friendly  forces  with  inadequate  and 
non-operating  anti-fratricide  devices. 

3.  Despite  these  extenuating  conditions,  I  am  unable  to  explain 
or  excuse  the  death  of  Corporal  Fielder  as  an  unfortunate  incident 
of  war.   The  file  reveals  that  you  failed  to  give  appropriate 
consideration  to  the  fact  that  you  had  friendly  units  on  your 
right  flank  and  did  not  take  reasonable  steps  to  identify  the 
elements  you  encountered  before  authorizing  them  to  be  engaged.. 


*3n<i, 


m- 


121 


FCJA 
SUBJECT: 


Memorandum  of  Reprimand 


4 .   This  reprimand  is  imposed  as  an  administrative  measure  and 
not  as  punishment  under  the  provisions  of  Article  15,  UCMJ.   You 
are  directed  to  acknowledge  receipt  of  this  reprimand.   You  have 
30  days  from  the  date  of  this  Reprimand  to  make  any  statement  you 
wish  me  to  consider  concerning  this  matter.   I  have  not  decided 
if  this  letter  will  be  filed  in  your  Official  Military  Personnel 
File.   I  will  make  that  decision  after  receipt  of  your 
acknowledgment  and  a  review  of  any  statement  that  you  may  elect 
to  make,  or  the  lapse  of  thirty  days  without  receipt  of  any 
statement,  whichever  is  sooner. 


EDWIN  H.  BURBA,  JR. 
General ,  USA 
Commanding  General 


122 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

HEADOUARTERS  FORCES  COMMAND 
FORT  MCPHERSON.  GEORGIA  30330-6000 


(M 


Rf  PIT  TO 
ATTENTION  OF 


FCJA  14  April  1992 

MEMORANDUM  FOR  Colonel  Douglas  H.  Starr,  Retired, 

69046  Stone  Street,  Richmond,  MI   48062 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  while  serving  as  Commander, 
3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  during  Operation  DESERT  STORM, 
elements  of  your  command  conducted  a  combat  assault  on  a 
neighboring  airfield  during  the  early  morning  hours  of 

27  February  1991.   During  this  assault,  elements  of  Company  C, 
54th  Engineer  Battalion,  were  engaged  resulting  in  the  death  of 
Corporal  Lance  Fielder.   A  review  of  the  attached  report  of 
investigation  reveals  that  you  erred  in  judgment  during  the 
execution  of  your  mission. 

2.  After  reviewing  the  report,  I  have  a  sound  appreciation  for 
the  conditions  at  the  time.   It  is  my  understanding  that  the  3D 
Squadron,  3D  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  was  working  with  old  maps, 
in  bad  weather,  and  at  night.   I  also  realize  that  they  were 
conducting  maneuver  operations  along  a  Corps  boundary,  which  is 
difficult  under  circumstances  of  precise  friendly  locations  and 
high  fidelity  communications,  circumstances  not  attendant  to 
their  situation.   They  were  further  challenged  with  severe  sleep 
deprivation,  having  to  conduct  this  complex  operation  as  their 
first  fire  fight  under  night  vision  device  conditions,  receiving 
erroneous  spot  reports  of  incoming  fire  and  accommodating  to 
adjacent  friendly  forces  with  inadequate  and  non-operating 
anti-fratricide  devices. 

3.  Despite  these  extenuating  conditions,  I  am  unable  to  conclude 
that  the  death  of  Corporal  Fielder  was  the  result' of  an 
unfortunate  incident  of  war.   You  exercised  poor  judgment  by  not 
having  your  staff  insist  on  the  receipt  of  more  detailed 
information  on  adjacent  units,  ensuring  subordinate  receipt 
acknowledgement  of  information  reference  those  units,  and  by  the 
absence  of  your  command  presence  not  ensuring  your  subordinate 
commanders  took  appropriate  safeguards  to  avoid  such  tragic 
results. 


Senmii  remanent  Subcommittee 
on  Investigations 


123 


FCJA 
SUBJECT: 


Memorandum  of  Reprimand 


4.   This  reprimand  is  imposed  as  an  administrative  measure  and 
not  as  punishment  under  the  provisions  of  Article  15,  UCMJ.   You 
are  directed  to  acknowledge  receipt  of  this  reprimand.   You  have 
30  days  from  the  date  of  this  Reprimand  to  make  any  statement  you 
wish  me  to  consider  concerning  this  matter.  I  have  not  decided  if 
this  letter  will  be  filed  in  your  Official  Military  Personnel 
File.   I  will  make  that  decision  after  receipt  of  your 
acknowledgment  and  a  review  of  any  statement  that  you  may  elect 
to  make,  or  the  lapse  of  thirty  days  without  receipt  of  any 
statement,  whichever  is  sooner. 


EDWIN  H.  BURBA,  JR 
General,  USA 
Commanding  General 


92-497  0-95-5 


124 


Vrl-  ■   •   -.  ' 

6  May  1992 


MEMORANDUM  FOR  General  Edwin  W.  Burba,  Jr. 

Commanding  General,  Forces  Command 
Fort  McPherson,  Georgia  30330-6000 


SUBJECT:   Acknowledgement  of  Receipt  of  and  Statement  regarding 
Memorandum  of  Reprimand  dated  14  April  1992. 

1.  I  hereby  acknowledge  receipt  of  subject  Memorandum  and  do, 
in  fact,  wish  to  make  a  statement  regarding  it,  which  is  con- 
tained herein. 

2.  As  a  combat  arms  officer  for  just  short  of  25  years,  I  have 
matured  in  a  military  service  that  has  steadfastly  embraced 
the  precept  that  holds  a  commander  "ultimately  responsible  for 
all  his  unit  does  or  fails  to  do."   While  harsh  and  unequivo- 
cating,  that  precept  underscores  appropriately  the  fundamental 
responsibility  for  a  command  that  the  commander,  and  the 
commander  alone,  -shoulders.   To  that  end,  I  have  accepted  and 
continue  to  accept  full  responsibility  for  the  tragic  circum- 
stances surrounding  the  attack  on  elements  of  Company  c,  54th 
Engineer  Battalion  and  the  consequent  death  of  Corporal  Lance 
Fielder. 

3.  Had,  Sic,  your  Memorandum  Of  Reprimand,  odious  as  I  may  have 
considered  it  as  a  soldier  who  considers  such  a  document  a  per- 
sonal as  well  as  a  professional  slap  in  the  face,  addressed  my 
responsibility  for  the  incident  from  the  above  overall  command 
responsibility  perspective,  I  would  have  had  no  choice  but  to 
quietly  and  bitterly  accept  it,  just  as  all  commanders  must. 

But  the  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  you  signed  on  14  April  transcends 
that  fundamental  responsibility  and  makes  three  specific  allega- 
tions that  I,  as  well  as  all  investigating  officers  that  have 
plumbed  the  depths  of  this  incident,  feel  are  not  factually 
correct  and  are  simply  not  corroborated  by  the  evidence  or  by 
testimony.   These  allegations  will  be  addressed  individually  below. 

4.  That  I  "exercised  poor  judgement"  by  "not  having  [my]  staff 
insist  on  the  receipt  of  more  detailed  information  on  adjacent  units" 
The  facts  are  that  I  made  every  conceivable  effort  to  develop  just 
such  information  -  by  radio,  by  TACSAT,  by  dispatching  my  own 
Command  and  control  helicopter,  through  the  artillery  chain,  and 

by  means  of  utilizing  the  1st  Armored  Division  liaison  officer  in 
my  TOC.  "The  voluminous  testimony  associated  with  my  request  of 
1st  Armored  Division  for  a  five-kilometer  buffer  zone  is  all  direct- 
ly predicated  on  1st  Armored  Division's  own  concern  over  their  in- 
ability to  identify  definitively  the  location  of  all  units  -  in  fact 
their  direct  concern  that  elements  of  theirs  might  conceivably  be 
within  that  buffer  zone  and  on  my  own  knowledge  6C  the  fact'  that 
no  unit  at  that  time  could  have  done  so  either.   I  originally  asked 
for  the  buffer  zone  to  insure  that  this  widespread  and  under- 


125 


standable  lack  of  precision  on  subordinate  unit  locations  would  be 
appropriately  accounted  for  in  the  attach.   1st  »rmored  Division's 

inability  to  grant  that  buffer  i.one  to  my  unit on  two  separate 

occasions  reinforced  my  concern  over  the  possible  presence  of 

friendly  troops  and  directly  led  to  my  alteration  of  the  attack 
plans,  to  include  the  artillery  preparation.   Given  the  time  avail- 
able to  me  from  receipt  of  orders  to  their  execution,  I  used  in 

most  cases  more  than  once  every  single  means  at  my  disposal  to 

ascertain  information  on  adjacent  units  and  I  did  so  throughout  the 
time  available.   My  inability  to  be  confident  of  information  on 
adjacent  units  was  directly  responsible  for  my  decision  to  cancel 
any  preparatory  fires  south  of  the  50  grid  line  and  to  alter  the 
attack  azimuth  from  a  north-to-south  to  a  west-to-east  direction 
with  the  50  grid  line  comprising  the  southern  boundary  of  the  attack 
by  3d  Squadron.   Absolutely  nothing  in  the  voluminous  testimony  even 
remotely  suggests  that  friendly  information  was  pursued  in  anything 
but  the  most  vigorous  manner.   Even  in  calm  and  clinical  retrospect, 
the  information  that  was  obtained  was,  in  fact,  accurate  (that  1st 
Armored  Division  could  not  be  sure  that  it   did  not  have  units  with- 
in the  requested  five-kilometer  buffer  zone)  and  the  information 
and  orders  disseminated  to  subordinate  units  duly  excluded  that  zone 
from  any  use.   Subordinate  units  were  told  that  the  requested 
buffer  zone  was  twice  denied  and  itJJ^hat  very  refusal  that  caused 
the  changes  in  attack  plans.   Hypothetically ,  had  the  1st  Armored 
Division  been  able  to  state  categorically  that  elements  of  Company  C 
were  in  fact  where  they  were  later  tragically  ascertained  to  be,  the 

attack  graphics  would  have  remained  the  same  all  that  would  have 

changed  would  have  been  a  specific  location  for  them  disseminated 
to  subordinate  units  and  an  accompanying  specific  reinforcement  of 
the  normal  and  well-understood  disciplines  regarding  unit  boundaries. 
The  tragic  error  in  this  case  is  not  in  1st  Armored  Division  being 
unable  to  pinpoint  every  unit  (no  unit  could  have  at  that  point 
and  the  Division  responsibiltrby  reflected  that  inability  in  their 
steadfast  refusal  of  the  buffer  zone), .or  in  the  intensity  of 
3d  Armored  Cavalry's  pursuit  of  information( information  which  we  now 
know  was  simply  not  available  regardless  of  how  intensely  it  may 
have  been  pursued),  but  in  the  inability  of  the  Regiment  to  properly 
recognize  a  friendly  unit  on  the  battlefield  in  time  to  prevent 
tragedy. 

5.   That  I  "exercised  poor  judgment"  by  not  "ensuring  subordinate 
receipt  acknowledgement  of  information  reference  those  units." 
The  facts  are  that  virtually  all  information  on  the  locations  of 
friendly  units,  largely  comprised  of  the  knowledge  that  the  possib- 
ility existed  that  1st  Armored  Division  forces  might  be  in  the 
previously-requested  buffer  zone,  was  passed  to  subordinate  units 
as  the  very  reason  why  the  attack  plans  were  being  changed.   No 
speculation  onyfche  existence  of  friendly  troops  was  offered  because 

that  is  precisely  what  it  would  have  been  speculation.   Instead, 

subordinate  units  were  told  that  the  buffer  zone  was  cancelled  and 
the  50  grid  line  boundary  was  reinforced.  I  deemed  the  criticality 
of  this  information  so  vital  that  prior  to  the  attack  I  took  my 
Command  Group,  made  up  of  four  Bradley  Fighting  Vehicles,  to  the 


126 


location  of  the  3d  Squadron  CommandGroup  and  met  with  both 
LTC  Paly  and  MAJ  Martin.   I,TC  Feil  and  I  went  over  the  attack 
graphics  with  the  3/3  Command  Group  at  that  time  along  with  the 
fact  that  1st  Armored  Division  had  refused  the  Regiment's  request 
for  a  buffer  zone  because  of  uncertainty  over  definitive  subord- 
inate unit  locations.   This  information  was,  of  course,  also  sent 
by  radio  (FRAGORD)  to  the  3/3  TOC  (as  well  as  the  rest  of  the 
Regiment)  and  receipted  by  that  unit.   My  colocation  and  map 
comparison  with  the  3/3  Command  Group  stemmed  from  my  concern  over 
the  change  in  plans  and  that  it  have  been  duly  assimilated  in  the 
Squadron's  attack  plan.   I  again  stress  that  the  tragic  error  in 
this  case  is  not  in  my  ensuring  receipt  of  what  we  knew  of  the 

friendly  situation  we  knew  very  little  indeed  other  than  the 

only  specifically  pertinent  fact:   That  the  50  grid  line  remained 
our  boundary.   To  that  end,  I  moved  the  Regimental  Command  Group 
to  colocate  with  the  Squadron  Command  Group  before  the  attack 
to  insure  myself  that  the  Squadron  had  all  of  the  information 
available.   Having  had  the  3/3  Commander  brief  me  on  how  he  in- 
tended to  deploy  his  Squadron,  and  being  satisfied  with  that,  I 
directed  that  movement  of  the  Regiment  commence.   Again,  the  tragic 
error  is  in  failing  to  recognize  a  friendly  unit  on  the  battlefield 
in  time  to  prevent  tragedy. 

6.   That,  "by  the  absence  of  [my]  command  presence  not  ensuring 
[my]  subordinate  commanders  took  appropriate  safeguards  to  avoid 
such  tragic  results."   The  facts  are,  as  partially  delineated 
above,  I  recognized  exactly  where  my  command  presence  was  most 

needed  and  positioned  myself  there  early-on  first  to  go  over 

first-hand  with  the  executing  commander  the  new  plan  and  receive 
his  concept  of  how  he  intended  to  implement  tnat  plan  and  then 
throughout  the  movement  and  the  attack  so  as  to  maintain  communi- 
cations with  the  attacking  commander.   I  positioned  my  command 
group  in  the  leading  edge  and  to  the  left  (north)  of  the  attacking 
squadron  so  as  to  place  myself  in  a  position  to  both  observe  the 
attack  personally  and  to  ensure  uninterrupted  communications  with 
the  balance  of  the  Regiment  and  with  the  Regimental  TOC  which,  with 
its  communications,  was  my  link  to  higher  headquarters.   As  the 
events  of  that  night  unfolded,  my  decision  as  to  where  to  position 
myself  was  all  too  correct.   I  was  less  than  a  few  kilometers  from 
where  the  incident  took  place,  could  see  the  tracers,  and  received 
Squadron  SITREPS  throughout.   Unfortunately  my  "command  presence" 
was  not  enough  to  prevent  the  fateful  events  as  they  unfolded.   I 
travelled  with  the  unit,  monitored  a  variety  of  their  nets  (Troops 
as  well  as  Squadron)  as  we  moved  with  my  third  radio,  and  watched 
what  I  could  of  their  tactical  movement  given  the  very  poor  visibilf- 
ity.   I  neither  saw  nor  heard  any  indication  of  "inappropriate 
safeguards  to  avoid ...  tragic  results."   The  unit  was  agile  and 
smooth,  aggresive  while  caut ious . . . They  were  a  unit  of  well-trained 
young  Americans  going  into  battle  for  the  first  time.   Again,  I 
stress  that  the  tragic  error  in  this  case  is  not  where  I  placed 
myself  on  the  battlefield  but  on  the  forces  in  contact  failing  to 
recognize  a  friendly  unit  quickly  enough  to  prevent  tragedy. 


127 


7.  Again,  Sir,  I  commanded  the  Regiment  during  the  period  in 
question  and,  as  such,  hold  myself  responsible  for  its  actions 
and  inactions ...  but  1  <am  categorically  not  guilty  of  the  lapses 
in  judgement  with  which  you  charge  me... not  guilty  by  virtue  of 
careful  review  of  the  lengthy  testimony,  not  guilty  by  careful 
review  of  my  actions  that  night  against  the  template  of  all  that 
I  know  to  be  sound  leadership,  and  not  guilty  based  on  the  facts 
of  the  incident. 

8.  I  respectfully  request  your  considered  review  of  the  case  

not  of  the  executive  summary  or  of  the  legal  opinion  but  of  the 

facts  of  this  tragic  case  as  presented  by  the  investigating 
officer.   They  do  not,  even  given  the  considerable  media  sensa- 
tionalism and  the  equally  considerable  pressures  attendant  to  this 
heartbreaking  case,  substantiate  the  judgemental  errors  which  you 
ascribe  to  me. 


9.   I  request  

rescinded  since  I 
factually  incorrec 
situation  is  such, 
must  be  done,"  the 
written  to  me  that 

happened  the  c 

suited  in  the  trag 
That  Memo,  unlike 
factually  and  phil 
appropriate hard 


also  respectfully  that  the  14  April  Memo  be 

know  after  your  review  you  will  find  it  both 
t  and  professionally  inappropriate.   If  the 

as  I  am  given  to  believe  it  is,  that  "something 
n  I  humbly  ask  that  a  letter  of  Reprimand  be 

fixes  responsibility  on  me  for  what  really 
ommand  of  a  unit  that  made  a  mistake  which  re- 
ic  loss  of  life  of  a  fine  American  trooper, 
this  one,  is  substantiated  by  the  testimony, 
osophically  supportable,  and  professionally 
,  but  fair. 


128 


Swfc  fwmwwm  SotKomnlttM 

*•  '"instigations 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY   EXHIBIT  *t 
HEADQUARTERS.  3D  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT 
FORT  BLISS.  TEXAS  7991S-241S 


«PLV  TO 

ATTtNTioNor       COMMANDER,     THIRD    SQUADRON 


26    MAY    1992 


MEMORANDUM  THRU 

COMMANDER,  3D  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMENT,  FORT  BLISS,  TX 
79916-0058 

COMMANDER,  XVIII  AIRBORNE  CORPS  AND  FORT  BRAGG.  FORT  BRAGG, 
NC  28307-5000 

FOR  COMMANDER,  FORCES  COMMAND,  FORT  MCPHERSON.  GA  30330-6000 


SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  I  am  responding  to  your  memorandum  of  reprimand,  dated 
14  April  1092. 

2.  I  realize  a  commander  is  responsible  for  everything  his 
unit  does  or  fails  to  do.   The  purpose  of  this  response  is 
not  to  seek  to  escape  from  the  responsibilities  of  command, 
but  rather  to  ask  that  my  actions  be  Judged  in  light  of  the 
facts  and  circumstances  as  we  knew  them  at  the  time.   There 
have  been  two  investigations  of  this  incident.   The  first 
was  conducted  immediately  after  and  on  the  site  of  the 
incident.   The  second  was  conducted  over  a  seven  month 
period  by  a  general  officer.   Both  concluded  that  I  did 
everything  'reasonable  and  appropriate,  under  the  existing 
circumstances*   to  prevent  any  unnecessary  loss  of  human 
life. 

3.  Many  of  the  reasons  that  argue  against  the  imposition 

of  any  action  against  me  in  this  matter  are  contained  in  the 
second  paragraph  of  your  memorandum  of  reprimand.   There  are 
additional  facts  that  I  ask  you  to  consider  as  well.   The 
general  officer  who  conducted  the  investigation  into  the 
circumstances  surrounding  the  events  of  27  February  1991, 
Brigadier  General  Halley,  pointed  out  these  facts  in 
recommending  that  'all  personnel  involved  be  absolved  of  any 
criminal  or  administrative  responsibility.* 

4.  On  a  dark,  rainy  night  when  visibility  was  near  zero,  it 
was  my  Squadron's  mission  to  conduct  an  attack  against  what 
we  fully  expected  to  be  an  airfield  occupied  by  Iraqi 


129 


AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT;  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

forces.   We  had  no  reason  to  believe  that  the  only  forces  we 
would  find  in  this  area  were  U.S  forces.   The  intelligence 
we  received  indicated  that  we  could  expect  to  encounter  up 
to  a  battalion  of  Iraqi  soldiers,  including  the  first  belt 
of  the  Republican  Guard.   It  is  easy  to  lose  sight  of  the 
fact  that  my  Squadron  was  not  the  right  flank  Squadron  until 
we  were  committed  to  the  attack.   Neither  the  First  Squadron 
in  our  passage  of  lines  coordination  nor  the  Regiment  gave 
me  any  indication  there  was  anyone  other  than  the  enemy  on 
or  near  my  objective.   Based  on  this  information,  we 
concluded,  as  did  BG  Halley,  that  the  'only  prudent  course 
of  action  to  minimize  potential  U.S.  casualties  was  to 
attack  the  airfield  as  if  enemy  was  present.' 

5.   Your  memorandum  specifically  refers  to  two  failures  on 
my  part,  a  failure  to  give  appropriate  consideration  to  the 
fact  that  I  had  friendly  units  on  my  right  flank  and  a 
failure  to  take  reasonable  steps  to  identify  the  elements  we 
encountered  as  friendly  forces  before  we  engaged  them. 

A.  First,  there  were  no  indications  there  were 
units  directly  on  the  Regiment's  right  flank.   Neither 
the  Regiment  nor  First  Squadron  had  physical  contact 
with  1st  AD.   Had  such  a  contact  been  made.  First 
Squadron  would  have  sent  scouts  out  to  the  flank  to  make 
contact,  radio  contact  would  have  been  established  with 
the  unit  on  the  flank,  or  loss  of  contact  would  have 
been  reported.   I  would  have  learned  of  any  of  these 
actions,  had  they  occurred,  during  my  passage  of  lines. 
The  only  information  available  to  me  indicated  that  1st 
AD  was  somewhere  to  the  south,  to  the  right  and  rear 

of  First  Squadron.   The  discussions  about  the  buffer 
zones  never  gave  me  any  indication1  that  there  were 
friendly  units  in  our  vicinity. 

B.  Second,  any  suggestion  of  a  failure  to  take 
responsible  steps  to  identify  the  elements  south  of  the 
airfield  is  contrary  to  the  findings  of  the  previous 
investigations.   In  the  conclusions  to  his 
Investigation,  BG  Halley  found  that  a  warning  shot  was 
ordered  and  fired;  that  direct  fire  was  not  ordered 
until  it  was  believed  that  we  were  being  fired  upon; 
that  I  stopped  the  attack,  personally  went  to  the 
scene,  and  ordered  a  PSYOPS  team  to  broadcast  a 
message;  and  that  I  only  ordered  a  short  burst  to  be 
fired  when  I  thought  'the  suspected  Iraqis  had  returned 
fire,  had  rejected  the  chance  to  surrender,  and  were 
trying  to  escape  or  occupy  fighting  positions.' 
Commanders  in  the  middle  of  a  battle  must  not  be 
expected  to  arrive  at  the  same  measures  that  a  committee 
might  arrive  at  after  months  of  Btudy. 


130 


AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT:  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

In  thia  Instance,  however,  after  more  that  a  year  to 
consider  the  facts,  no  one  has  presented  any  steps  that 
we  could  have  taken  that  night  that  would  not  have 
placed  my  own  soldiers  in  serious  Jeopardy  considering 
the  situation  as  we  thought  it  to  be. 

6.  BG  Halley  found  several  reasons  why  the  engineer  unit 
involved  was  not  identified  by  me  or  my  soldiers.   Perhaps 
the  most  telling  factor  was  the  absence  of  the  USCENTCOM 
anti-fratricide  devices  on  the  engineer  vehicles.   The 
failure  of  the  engineer  personnel  to  wear  Kevlar  helmets  or 
Load  Bearing  Equipment  that  would  have  been  recognized 
through  the  thermal  sights  we  were  forced  by  the  condition 
to  use  also  contributed  to  this  'unfortunate*  incident.   The 
placement  of  an  objective  that  crossed  Corps  boundaries 
obviously  lead  to  the  units  coming  together  at  this  location 
in  the  first  place. 

7.  In  spite  of  all  these  factors,  I  still  believe  that  the 
steps  we  took  with  the  information  we  had  were  the  right 
ones.   Even  with  the  advantage  of  hindsight,  BG  Halley  said, 
my  actions  and  decisions  'were  reasonable  and  appropriate 
under  the  existing  circumstances.*   We  did  not  fire  on  any 
unit  in  the  area  until  after  we  had  fired  a  warning  shot  and 
had  received  a  report  of  enemy  fire  from  the  vehicles  of 
that  unit.   We  used  all  resources  available  to  us,  including 
PSYOPS  speakers ,  in  an  attempt  to  prevent  the  unnecessary 
loss  of  human  life.   In  the  final  analysis,  on  27  February 
1991  at  an  airfield  inside  enemy  territory,  I  had  to  take 
steps  to  prevent  what  I  thought  would  be  anti-tank  fire 
directed  at  my  own  soldiers.   I  considered  the 
responsibility  to  protect  the  lives  of-  my  soldiers  a  sacred 
trust  that  required  my  best  efforts.  .Even  with  that  in 
mind,  we  violated  no  Army  doctrine  or  Rules  of  Engagement. 

S.   I  respectfully  request  that  you  consider  rescinding  your 
memorandum  of  reprimand.   In  good  conscience  I  feel  that  I 
must  ask  you  to  reconsider  given  the  circumstances  as  we 
knew  them.   I  believe  that  this  tragedy  was  truly  'an 
unfortunate  incident  of  war*.   If  you  can  not  reach  this 
conclusion  given  the  additional  comments  in  this  letter, 
then  I  ask  you  to  consider  my  past  performance  and  potential 
for  further  service  and  file  this  in  my  Military  Personnel 
Records  Jacket. 


131 


AFVF-KCDR 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 


9.   Nothing  that  can  happen  from  this  point  on  will  prevent 
the  deep  sense  of  loss  I  feel  as  a  result  of  fires  from  my 
vehicle  that  resulted  in  the  death  of  an  American  soldier. 
I  grieve  for  the  friends  and  family  of  Corporal  Fielder,  and 
would  do  anything  to  be  able  to  undo  the  events  of  27 
February  1991.   Because  that  is  not  possible,  I  will  carry 
this  burden  forever. 


JOHN  H.  DALY 
LTC,  ARMOR 
Commanding/ 


132 


Seur* 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

HEADQUARTERS,  3D  ARMORED  CAVALRY  REGIMEN 
FORT  BLISS.  TEXAS  79916-2411 


fet;; 


Kti 


AFVF-C 


27    MAY    1992 


MEMORANDUM  THBU 

COMMANDER.  XVIII  AIRBORNE  CORPS  AND  FORT  BRAGG,  FORT  BRAGG, 
NC  28307-5000 

FOR  COMMANDER.  FORCES  COMMAND,  FORT  MCPHERSON.  GA  30330-6000 


SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  I  have  reviewed  BG  Hal  ley' 8  report  into  the  tragic 
incident  involving  LTC  John  Daly.   Based  upon  the  report's 
findings  and  my  own  knowledge  of  LTC  Daly,  I  recommend  that 
no  permanent  or  adverse  action  be  taken  against  this  very 
promising  squadron  commander. 

2.  In  the  12  months  that  LTC  Daly  has  served  as  a  commander 
under  my  command,  he  has  demonstrated  all  the  personal  and 
professional  attributes  which  the  Army  requires  in  its 
senior  leadership.   I  believe  that  LTC  Daly  is  capable  of 
major,  continued  contributions  to  our  Army. 

3.  I  respectfully  and  strongly  request  that  you  not  place 
your  memorandum  of  reprimand  in  his  Official  Military 
Personnel  File. 


"262*5 

ROBERT  R.  IV ANY 
COL.  ARMOR 
Commanding 


133 


off  investigations 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY       EXHIBIT  # 

HEADQUARTERS.  XVIII  AIRBORNE  CORPS  AND  FORT  BRAGG 
FORT  BRAGG.  NORTH  CAROLINA  28307-5000 


nmrro 

ATTCMTIOM  OF: 


AFZA-CG 


4  June  1992 


MEMORANDUM  FOR  Commander,  Forces  Command,  Fort  McPherson,  GA 
30330-6000 

SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand  Concerning  Lieutenant  Colonel 
John  H.  Daly,  Jr. 


1.  Following  a  review  of  LTC  Daly's  statement  and  after  con- 
siderable thought,  I  believe  there  are  sufficient  grounds  to 
support  his  request. 

2.  The  circumstances  surrounding  most  tragic  events  in  combat 
do  not  always  provide  us  with  cut  and  dry  answers.   I  feel  this 
is  the  case  here.   To  that  end,  and  considering  the  totality 

of  LTC  Daly's  contributions  and  potential  for  future  service, 
I  respectfully  request  you  rescind  the  letter  of  reprimand. 
Should  you  not  be  able  to  support  that  course  of  action,  I 
recommend  the  letter  of  reprimand  not  be  filed  in  his  official 
military  personnel  file.   Regardless,  I  fully  support  whatever 
decision  you  make. 


flJCK 
Lieutenant  General,  USA 
Commanding 


134 


Sen."*  re*»anen*  iiiijcAiw-pjttM 

EMltR  »      21 

Captain  B.  H.  Friesen 

3112  Flax  St. 
El  Paso,  Texas   79925 

21  June  1992 

MEMORANDUM  FOR  COMMANDER,  FORCES  COMMAND,  FORT  MCPHERSON,  GEORGIA 
30330-6000 

SUBJECT:   Statement  Pertaining  to  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

1.  Reference  Memorandum  of  Reprimand  for  Captain  B.  H.  Friesen, 
from  Commander,  Forces  Command,  dated  14  April  1992,  received  29 
May  1992. 

2.  I  strongly  protest  my  receipt  of  a  reprimand  for  alleged 
negligence  on  27  February  1991  contributing  to  the  fratricide 
death  of  Corporal  Douglas  Fielder.   I  request  that  it  be  revoked. 

3.  Negligence  is  defined  as  "failure  to  use  a  reasonable  amount 
of  care  when  such  failure  results  in  injury  or  damage  to 
another."   I  was  not  negligent  at  any  time  before,  during  or 
after  the  attack  on  the  airfield.   I  and  my  unit  acted  respon- 
sibly and  with  care  in  all  instances. 

4 .  In  light  of  the  information  provided  to  me  by  my  superiors ,  I 
acted  with  extreme  caution.   My  squadron  commander,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  John  Daly,  neglected  to  inform  me  of  the  location  of  the 
corps  boundary.   He  also  told  me  that  we  would  be  the  most  for- 
ward friendly  unit  in  the  area  and  that  the  airfield  we  were  at- 
tacking was  defended  by  a  dug  in  battalion  of  Iraqi  soldiers.   He 
made  no  mention  of  possible  friendly  forces  in  the  area,  or  that 
the  VII  Corps  was  already  12  hours  ahead  of  us.   He  stated  that 
our  objective  was  seven  kilometers  past  «the  forward  line  of 
friendly  forces. 

This  clearly  indicated  to  me  that  we  would  not  encounter  friendly 
forces  at  any  time  during  our  operation. 

5.  LTC  Daly  directed  the  use  of  a  diamond  assault  formation  to 
clear  the  airfield.   This  formation  placed  maximum  tank  firepower 
forward,  with  lighter  scout  vehicles  securing  the  flanks.   This 
formation  had  no  reconnaissance  force  whatsoever  to  the  front. 
Its  sole  purpose  was  to  destroy  confirmed  enemy  positions.   Why 
did  LTC  Daly  use  this  formation  if  he  knew  we  were  operating  near 
a  corps  boundary  with  the  possibility  of  friendly  forces  in  the 
area?  He  sent  his  squadron  on  a  blind  attack  into  an  area  where 
he  was  uncertain  of  the  situation.   Scout  platoons  should  have 
proceeded  the  squadron  into  the  area.   Failure  to  do  so  was  a 
violation  of  basic  tactical  principles.   Use  of  this  formation 
confirmed  in  my  mind  that  we  would  encounter  heavy  resistance  by 
Iraqi  forces  on  the  airfield. 


135 


SUBJECT:   Statement  Pertaining  to  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

6.  My  actions  on  the  airfield  itself  were  carefully  thought  out 
and  correct  in  every  respect.   I  did  not  engage  until  after  LTC 
Daly  had  granted  permission  for  me  to  do  so.   I  then  fired  only 
warning  shots,  well  away  from  the  group  of  soldiers.   Upon 
receiving  returned  small  arms  fire,  I  and  two  other  vehicles  from 
my  troop  briefly  suppressed  our  opponents.   We  did  not  kill  any 
soldiers  from  the  engineer  unit.   LTC  Daly  himself  fired  the  fa- 
tal shots  after  I  had  called  cease  fire  several  times  over  the 
troop  radio  net.   My  executive  officer  relayed  this  command  over 
the  sguadron  radio  net  on  each  occasion.   LTC  Daly  himself  made 
several  statements  during  the  15-6  investigation  confirming  that 

I  gave  this  command. 

7.  Although  our  thermal  imaging  systems  presented  a  clear  pic- 
ture, they  could  not  differentiate  colors.   This  made  it  impos- 
sible to  recognize  coalition  markings  on  the  engineer  vehicles. 
The  U.S.  Central  Command  Anti-Fratricide  SOP  (dated  December 
1990)  provided  night  recognition  signals.   Unfortunately,  this 
SOP  was  never  available  at  our  level  throughout  the  entire  war. 
We  never  even  knew  of  its  existence.   Why  did  Central  Command  of- 
ficials not  make  sure  that  combat  units  actually  received  this 
important  document,  instead  of  just  providing  lip  service  to  its 
existence?   I  and  my  unit  were  not  able  to  adhere  to  a  document 
we  had  never  seen. 

8.  My  troop  was  not  a  independent  unit,  but  part  of  the  right 
flank  of  the  assault  formation.   We  were  under  LTC  Daly's  direct 
control  at  all  times.   Why  did  LTC  Daly  give  me  permission  to 
fire  warning  shots  when  he  knew  that  we  were  directly  on  the  VII 
corps  boundary?  His  doing  so  only  added  further  credence  to  my 
belief  that  we  were  facing  Iragis.   He  had  a  functioning  global 
positioning  system  and  was  acutely  aware  of  our  location.   Had  I 
been  informed  of  the  boundary  location,  »I  would  have  seen  on  my 
positioning  system  that  I  was  close  to  it  and  forbidden  any 
shooting. 

9.  I  ordered  a  cease  fire  because  I  believed  that  we  had  ex- 
pended the  maximum  amount  of  necessary  force.   The  soldiers,  who 
we  still  believed  to  be  Iragis,  no  longer  posed  a  threat.   It  was 
my  intention  to  wait  for  their  surrender.   We  had  much  heavier 
weapons  at  our  disposal  and  could  have  destroyed  the  small  group 
of  soldiers  in  a  matter  of  seconds.   Our  restraint  and  clear 
thinking  prevented  this.   If  LTC  Daly  had  not  disregarded  and 
overridden  my  cease  fire,  Corporal  Fielder  would  still  be  alive 
today.   Fielder  was  assisting  a  fellow  soldier  to  a  safer  loca- 
tion when  LTC  Daly  shot  him.   I  could  see  clearly  in  my  thermal 
sights  that  neither  soldier  carried  weapons  and  thus  posed  no 
threat.   The  soldiers  also  had  no  place  to  escape.   Our  vehicles 
surrounded  them  on  flat  terrain  and  could  easily  have  outdis- 
tanced them.   Shooting  them  was  totally  unjustified,  even  if  they 
had  been  Iraqis. 


136 


SUBJECT:   Statement  Pertaining  to  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

10.  If  LTC  Daly  and  COL  Starr  had  not  withheld  critical  informa- 
tion about  friendly  force  locations  and  unit  boundaries  from  of- 
ficers at  my  level,  this  incident  could  have  been  avoided. 
Statements  by  both  officers  in  the  15-6  investigation  prove  that 
they  were  aware  of  the  boundary.   COL  Starr  was  acutely  aware  of 
friendly  forces  in  the  area.   Why  did  they  not  share  this  infor- 
mation with  their  troop  commanders?  It  would  have  radically 
changed  my  thought  process  and  actions  on  the  airfield. 

11.  Statements  by  Lieutenant  General  Ronald  Griffith  (Commander, 
1st  Armored  Division)  and  Brigadier  General  John  Hendrix 
(Assistant  Division  Commander)  both  clearly  assert  that  they 
directed  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  to  stay  away  from  the 
corps  boundary  and  airfield  because  there  were  friendly  elements 
in  the  area.   They  also  stated  that  the  1st  Armored  Division  had 
cleared  the  airfield  twelve  hours  earlier.   Why  were  we  sent  to 
attack  an  airfield  that  had  already  been  cleared?   To  this  day,  I 
still  do  not  know  from  whom  this  attack  order  originated. 

12.  CPT  Wayne  Sauer,  a  liaison  officer  assigned  to  3rd  ACR, 
stated  in  the  15-6  investigation  that  he  coordinated  with  1st  Ar- 
mored Division  to  obtain  a  5  kilometer  buffer  zone  to  attack  the 
Umm  Ha jul  airfield.   The  1st  Armored  Division  denied  this  request 
because  their  2nd  Brigade  trains  were  in  the  area.   1st  Armored 
Division  also  stated  that  the  airfield  was  already  clear.   CPT 
Sauer  briefed  LTC  Michael  Keenan  (the  3rd  ACR  Executive  Officer) 
on  this  information.   LTC  Keenan  passed  the  information  on  to  COL 
Starr.   Why  did  this  critical  information  never  make  it  to  my 
level?  It  would  have  had  a  very  significant  impact  on  my  deci- 
sion to  fire  even  a  warning  shot.   If  COL  Starr  ordered  the  at- 
tack on  the  airfield  despite  the  1st  Armored  Division's  denial, 
then  he  is  as  directly  responsible  for  Corporal  Fielder's  death 
as  LTC  Daly.   I  believe  this  to  be  the  oase. 

13.  COL  Starr's  entire  conduct  of  this  operation  was  poorly 
thought  out  and,  in  my  opinion,  and  effort  to  claim  credit  for 
capturing  an  airfield.   Why  were  there  no  contact  and/ or  coor- 
dination points  along  the  corps  boundary  during  this  operation? 
I  was  the  southern  most  troop  commander,  yet  I  received  no  coor- 
dination missions.   This  displayed  extremely  bad  planning  and 
disregard  for  even  the  most  basic  tactical  principles  on  behalf 
of  COL  Starr  and  leaders  in  the  1st  Armored  Division.   If  we  had 
been  fighting  a  more  determined  foe,  he  would  have  split  the 
corps  boundary  or  wreaked  havoc  in  the  1st  Armored  Division's 
rear  area.   As  a  troop  commander,  I  had  no  control  whatsoever 
over  boundary  coordination  missions.  These  were  decided  at 
regimental  level  and  higher.  If  COL  Starr  had  done  his  job  and 
ensured  such  coordination,  this  tragedy  would  not  have  occurred. 


137 


SUBJECT:   Statement  Pertaining  to  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

14.  Despite  the  fact  that  both  COL  Starr  and  LTC  Daly  were  aware 
of  the  corps  boundary,  the  3rd  Squadron's  planned  attack  route 
swung  south  through  the  airfield  and  penetrated  seven  kilometers 
into  VII  Corps  territory.   If  the  squadron  had  carried  out  the 
attack  in  its  entirety,  it  may  well  have  destroyed  a  portion  of 
the  2nd  Brigade,  1st  AD  trains.   Why  did  LTC  Daly  approve  this 
route  and  disseminate  it  to  his  subordinates  when  he  knew  where 
the  corps  boundary  was?   Who  developed  this  route?  This  person 
also  holds  a  great  deal  of  responsibility  in  this  incident. 

15.  It  is  crystal  clear  that  both  COL  Starr  and  LTC  Daly  were 
aware  of  both  the  corps  boundary  and  possibility  of  friendly 
forces  in  the  area.   Incongruously,  they  ordered  and  conducted  a 
violent  assault  into  the  Umm  Hajul  area.   I  feel  these  were 
criminally  negligent  acts.   My  actions  did  not  lead  to  Corporal 
Fielder's  death.   On  the  contrary,  I  did  everything  humanly  pos- 
sible to  prevent  it.   Repeated  negligence  and/or  disregard  by  COL 
Starr,  LTC  Daly  and  possibly  other  officers  beyond  my  purview  of 
knowledge  killed  Lance  Fielder. 

16.  If  I  am  to  receive  this  reprimand,  then  I  believe  there  are 
many  more  individuals  more  deserving  of  one.   Foremost  among  them 
are: 

a)  The  staff  officers  who  drew  a  corps  boundary  through 
the  middle  of  an  airfield  that  was  a  key  objective, 

b)  The  leadership  of  both  corps  for  not  ensuring  coor- 
dination along  their  flanks, 

c)  The  intelligence  officers  from  whom  the  misinformation 
came  about  a  dug  in  Iraqi  battalion  on  the  airfield 

d)  The  1st  Armored  Division  leadership  for  not  conducting 
a  proper  flank  guard  operation  on  an  exposed  flank  and 

e)  The  3rd  ACR  leadership  for  not  ensuring  coordination 
along  the  corps  boundary. 

17.  The  15-6  investigation  findings  state  that  "the  Regimental 
Commander  and  the  Squadron  Commander  should  have  placed  more 
emphasis  on  the  proximity  of  the  objective  to  the  boundary, 
possible  friendly  forces  in  the  area,  why  the  buffer  zone 
was  denied,  and  why  the  attack  plan  was  changed.   Had  the  I 
Troop  Commander  been  fully  apprised  of  all  the  available  in- 
formation, this  regrettable  incident  could  have  been 
avoided."   This  corroborates  everything  I  have  already  said. 


138 


SUBJECT:   Statement  Pertaining  to  Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

18.  In  conclusion,  I  maintain  that  I  used  a  greater  than 
reasonable  amount  of  care  during  the  operation  against  the  air- 
field.  My  commander,  LTC  Daly  fail  to  apprise  me  of  information 
critical  to  my  mission  and  fired  the  fatal  shots  from  his 
vehicle.   COL  Starr  negligently  ordered  an  attack  into  an  area  he 
knew  was  occupied  by  friendly  forces.   They  are  the  negligent 
parties  responsible  for  this  tragedy.   My  unit  applied  a  minimum 
amount  of  force  at  all  times  commensurate  with  the  information  we 
received.   I  feel  thoroughly  betrayed  by  my  superiors  for  not 
having  apprised  me  of  the  most  basic  information  I  needed  to  con- 
duct operations.   I  should  not  pay  for  mistakes  made  by  them.   I 
trusted  their  instructions  and  they  betrayed  this  trust.   They 
did  not  ensure  proper  coordination  and  planning  at  their  levels 
and  I  should  not  be  held  responsible  for  this. 

19.  I  would  greatly  appreciate  information  about  your  final 
decision  regarding  this  reprimand.   I  will  be  at  the  letterhead 
address  throughout  my  terminal  leave  and  after  my  release  from 
the  service. 

Very  Respectfully, 


/fi6~r 

HB.  H.  FRIESEN 
Captain,  Armor 


139 


i«Wt«  I'-wnmni  Subcommittee 
da  InwrJj^Uut* 

ewnr#_lii M 

FCJA-ML   (FCJA/14  April  1992)    (600-37)   1st  End 
SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

Commander,  Forces  Command,  Fort  McPherson,  GA  30330-6000  22  Jul  92 

THRU  Deputy  Chief  of  Staff  for  Operations  and  Plans,  Department 
of  the  Army,  Washington,  DC  20310-0400 

FOR  Commander,  Military  District  of  Washington,  ATTN:   ANPE-MP, 
Officer  Records,  1900  Half  Street  S.W.,  Washington,  DC 
20314-5050 

1.  I  have  reviewed  all  documents  pertinent  to  my  decision  to 
issue  a  memorandum  of  reprimand  to  LTC  John  H.  Daly,  Jr., 
currently  in  transit  pursuant  to  his  permanent  change  of  station 
from  Fort  Bliss,  TX  to  DAMO-FD,  Pentagon,  Washington,  DC, 
formerly  Commander,  3d  Squadron,  3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment 
during  Operation  DESERT  STORM. 

2.  I  have  specifically  considered,  in  making  my  determination, 
the  statements  submitted  by  LTC  Daly  (enclosure)  . 

3.  Based  on  my  review  and  consideration,  I  direct  that  the 
memorandum  of  reprimand,  dated  14  April  1992,  issued  to  LTC  Daly 
be  filed  in  his  military  personnel  records  jacket  for  a  period 
of  one  year,  from  the  date  that  he  reports  to  DAMO-FD. 


Encl  EDWIN  H..6URBA,  JR. 

Added  1  encl  General,  USA 

as  Commanding  General 

CF:   LTC  John  H.  Daly 


140 


OKfi 


FCJA-ML   (FCJA/14  April  1992)   (600-37)   1st  End 
SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

Commander,  Forces  Command,  Fort  McPherson,  GA  30330-6000   22  Jul  92 

FOR  Captain  B.  H.  Friesen,  3112  Flax  Street,  El  Paso,  Texas 
79925 


1.  I  have  reviewed  all  documents  pertinent  to  my  decision  to 
issue  you  a  memorandum  of  reprimand. 

2.  I  have  specifically  considered,  in  making  my  determination, 
the  very  persuasive  statement  you  submitted. 

3.  Based  on  my  review  and  consideration,  the  memorandum  of 
reprimand,  dated  14  April  1992,  issued  to  you  is  hereby 
withdrawn.   I  consider  this  matter  closed. 


EDWIN  H.  BURBA,  JR 
General,  USA 
Commanding  General 


141 


Senate  Permanent  Subcommittee 
on  Imostigstioai 


FCJA-ML   (FCJA/14  April  1992)   (600-37)   1st  End 
SUBJECT:   Memorandum  of  Reprimand 

Commander,  Forces  Command,  Fort  McPherson,  GA  30330-6000  22  Jul  92 

FOR  Colonel  Douglas  H.  Starr,  Retired,  69046  Stone  Street, 
Richmond,  MI  48062 

1.  I  have  considered  your  persuasive  arguments. 

2 .  I  still  find  your  actions  make  you  sufficiently  culpable  to 
warrant  the  reprimand  standing;  however,  your  reply  provides 
additional  extenuation  and  mitigation.   Accordingly,  the 
reprimand  will  not  be  placed  in  your  military  personnel  file. 


SDWIN 

General ,   USA 
Commanding  General 


142 


m<  investigation 


EXHIBIT  « 


DEPARTMENT  OF  DEFENSE 

HEADQUARTERS.  FORCES  COMMAND 
FORT  MCPHERSON.  GA   303306000 


September  1, 1992 


Commander  in  Chief 


Ms.  Debbie  J.  Shelton 
225  Peachtree  Street 
Nashville,  Tennessee    37210 

Dear  Ms.  Shelton: 

I  am  the  general  officer  who  had  the  responsibility  to  takeaction  on  the 
Incident  which  culminated  in  the  tragic  death  of  your  son  Lance  during  Operation 
DESERT  STORM.  I  overruled  the  decisions  of  the  investigating  officers  and  the 
Chain  of  Command  and  issued  official  letters  of  reprimand  to  those  I  found 
negligent  in  the  incidents  surrounding  the  death  of  Lance. 

In  July,  after  receiving  rebuttal  responses  from  those  officers  I  found 
culpable,  I  wrote  a  long  letter  to  you  explaining  the  rationale  for  my  final 
decisions.  I  thought  it  only  fair  to  receive  the  culpable  officers'  responses  prior 
to  making  my  decisions  and  then  writing  to  you.  but  this  action  delayed  the 
process.  The  decisions  were  rendered  in  July  shortly  before  the  concentrated 
media  coverage  of  the  tragedy.  Due  to  the  timing  and  atmospherics  at  the  time, 
I  felt  my  letter  to  you  would  totally  lack  credibility  and  I  elected  not  to  send  it. 

Now  that  the  media  attention  has  subsided,  I  feel  obligated  to  express  to 
you  the  Army's  and  my  own  deeply  felt  personal  sorrow  over  the  death  of  Lance. 
I  know  the  personal  hurt  and  anger  caused  by  the  unnecessary  and  untimely 
death  of  a  loved  one.  Over  twenty  years  ago,  my  father  was  killed  while  still  on 
active  duty  in  an  Army  aircraft  that  had  not  been  properly  refueled.  It  ran  out  of 
aviation  gas  and  crashed  while  diverting  to  a  secondary  airfield  during  a 
thunderstorm.  All  the  goodwill,  sympathy,  and  corrective  action  will  never  bring 
him  back  nor,  to  this  day,  assuage  my  hurt  and  anger  over  how  he  died.  I  know 
you  must  feel  the  same  way. 

I  would  just  ask  you  to  understand  the  Army  is  a  large  institution  that,  by 
the  scope  and  complexity  of  its  operations,  periodically  makes  mistakes.  As  in 
no  other  occupation,  these  mistakes  frequently  translate  into  life  and  death 
consequences.  However,  the  Army  Is  made  up  of  good  people  that  are  trying  to 
do  what  is  right  regardless  of  the  circumstances.  The  squadron  commander, 
although  wrong,  was  trying  to  do  what  was  right  at  the  time  of  Lance's  death  and 
we  have  attempted  to  do  what  is  right  in  the  investigation  and  disciplinary  action 
associated  with  this  tragic  incident. 


143 


I  made  the  final  decisions.  They  were  tough  calls  and  I  can  just  My  I 
think  I  have  made  the  right  ones  after  an  exhaustive  review  ot  the  case.  I  haw 
spent  many  anguished  days  and  nights  thinking  about  it-its  implications  lor 
fairness,  for  deterrence  of  such  future  tragedies  and  the  Army's  obligation  to  mm 
battles  and  save  lives  in  the  next  war.  If  there  is  more  that  you  wish  explained 
or  if  there  la  anything  I  can  do  to  assist  you  in  anyway,  I  would  be  happy  to  travel 
to  your  home  to  do  it. 


Sincerely, 


Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr. 
General,  U.S.  Army 
Commander  in  Chief 


144 


Senate  PefflMBMt  Subcommittee 
on  Investigations 

EXHIBIT  #  — 2k. 


Deborah  J.  Shelton 
225  Peachtree  Straat 
Nashville,  Tennessee  37210 
(CIS)  833-1925 


September  14,  1992 

General  Edwin  H.  Burba,  Jr 

Commander  In  Chief 
Headquarters,  Forces  Command 
Fort  McPherson,  GA  30330-6000 

Dear  General  Burba: 

I  am  In  receipt  of  your  letter  dated  September  1,  1992.  l  was 
aware  of  the  fact  that  you  overruled  prior  investigation  and 
decisions,  issuing  written  reprimands  to  the  officers  involved  in 
my  sons  death.  However,  since  I  am  not  privy  to  their  content,  or 
the  content  of  the  responses  by  the  officers  Involved,  any  comment 
I  could  make  regarding  them  would  be  uninformed  and  therefore  I 
believe,  Irrelevant.  Please  be  advised  I  am  very  interested  in 
their  content  and  will  be  appreciative  of  any  information  you  will 
share  with  me. 

General  Burba,  I  have  considerable  empathy  for  you  in  the  loss 
of  your  father.  You  see,  I  am  an  only  child.  My  mother  died  in 
1984.  I  buried  my  father  on  September  4,  1992,  after  a  long  and 
painful  illness  where  his  grief  in  the  loss  of  his  only  grandson 
accelerated  the  end  of  his  life.  I  must  tell  you  there  is  no 
comparison  between  the  loss  of  a  child  and  the  loss  of  a  parent 
no  matter  the  circumstances.  1  suppose  one  must  be  a  member  of  the 
elite  bereaved  parents  club  in  order  to  understand  the 
inappropr lateness  of  such  comparisons. 

I  understand  your  position  very  well,  you  are  obviously  in  a 
very  uncomfortable  one  to  say  the  least.  I  also  believe  I 
understand  the  Army  is  a  large  institution  and  the  complexity  of 
its  operation.  I  am  a  patriot  in  the  truest  sense  of  the  word 
I  reared  my  son  in  that  patriotic  tradition.  Saving  SGT  Napier's 
life  and  rescuing  SPEC  Dribbin  was  the  only  thing  Lance  could  have 
done.  It  was  basic  to  him,  not  a  valorous  act.  Had  he  lived  and 
received  accolades  for  it,  I  am  sure  his  response  would  have  been 
something  like,  "what's  all  the  fuss  about,  Z  was  just  doing  my 
job?"  We  understood,  given  his  MOS  in  war  time,  the  possibility 
of  Injury  or  death  was  high,  and  accidents  are  always  a  real 
possibility.  We  also  understood  the  price  of  freedom  is  never  paid 
in  full.  What  we  did  not  understand  and  I  do  not  to  this  day 
understand  is  not  accepting  responsibility  for  a  cowardly  act. 


145 


The  bottom  line  to  me  is  this:  LTC  Daly  opened  fire  on  an 
unarmed  man  assisting  a  fellow  comrade,  while  under  a  cease  fire 
he  acknowledges  he  disregarded.  This  is  the  act  of  a  coward. 
Whether  during  war  time  or  not,  it  is  purely  and  simply  murder. 
I  do  not  presume  to  understand  battle  tactic.  However,  it  seems 
to  me  when  you  open  fire,  you  draw  fire.  Therefore  this  was  a 
negligent  act  for  a  squadron  commander.  We  were  continually  told 
during  Operation  Desert  Storm  "this  is  the  humane  war.  We  are 
saving  lives  wherever  possible.  All  an  Iraqi  needs  to  do  is  lay 
down  their  weapons  and  they  will  be  spared  attack."  Either  LTC 
Daly  never  received  these  instructions  or  chose  to  disregard  them. 

This  is  not  in  the  finest  tradition  of  military  honor  as 
taught  in  West  Point  or  in  training  facilities  throughout  our 
country.  Never-the-less  if  this  is  the  way  the  U  S  Army  intends 
to  deal  with  cowardice;  then  step  forward,  acknowledge  it  and  be 
responsible  so  the  next  group  of  young  men  and  women  the  recruiters 
talk  to  will  understand  what  to  expect. 

,  .  xt  is  my  opinion  that  the  basic  "wrong"  in  this  country  is  a 
lack  of  responsibility  in  our  families,  our  communities  and  our 
government.  Everyone  expects  rights  and  privileges.  Along  with 
them  goes  obligations  and  responsibilities.  Until  we  all  step 
forward  and  accept  full  responsibility  for  our  actions,  this  great 
country  of  ours  will  continue  to  erode. 


Cordially, 
Deborah  J.  Shelton 


146 


*««*  fmmrn  Subewninittet 


DEPARTMENT  0^  THE  ARMY 
OFFICE  OF  THE  iNS°EC'QF<  GENfcHAPMBn'  <t_        97 


1700  APt.'v  PEN1  AGO'.' 
WASHIMG'ON  DC  20310  w  00 


4  August  1994 


MEMORANDUM  FOR  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY  OF  THE  ARMY  FOR 

MANPOWER  AND  RESERVE  AFFAIRS,  ATTN: 
COL  Hamilton 

SUBJECT:   Revocation  of  Valorous  Awards 


The  enclosed  preliminary  analysis  revealed 
valorous  awards  were  presented  to  members  of  the 
3d  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  for  actions  at  Qalib  Al 
Luhays  airfield,  Iraq,  on  February  27,  1991. 
The  incident  described  in  the  recommendations  for  these 
awards  was  one  of  fratricide  and  did  not  involve 
contact  with  an  armed  enemy. 

In  accordance  with  paragraph  6-6,  Army 
Regulation  672-5-1,  award  of  the  "V*  device  for  valor 
requires  participation  in  an  act  of  heroism  involving 
conflict  with  an  armed  enemy.   Therefore,  request 
action  be  taken  to  revoke  these  awards .   Note  that  the 
actions  of  these  individuals  may  have  been  deserving  of 
recognition  other  than  a  valorous  award.   Also,  note 
that  the  award  recommendation  for  Major  David  J. 
Bxadshaw  includes  mention  of  two  incidents  on  the  night 
of  Pebruary  26-27,  1991.   It  is  possible  that  Major 
Bradshaw  met  the  criteria  for  a  valorous  award  in  an 
action  other  than  the  one  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays  airfield. 

Further,  request  action  be  taken  to  identify  and 
revoke  similar  valorous  awards  improperly  authorized 
for  the  incident  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays  airfield  or  other 
known  fratricide  incidents. 

Due  to  the  sensitive  nature  of  the  enclosed 
report,  please  do  not  duplicate  it  or  include  it  in  any 
other  record  without  further  coordination  with  our 
records  release  office.   Also,  please  provide  this 
report  adequate  security  and  return  it  when  no  longer 
needed . 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSKKHOiTTON  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BT  AK  20-1. 


147 


-2- 


Pleaee  inform  us  of  the  results  of  your  action. 
Our  point  of  contact  is  Colonel  Charles  Cogswell,  (703) 
695-7385. 


R.'  S.  Siegfri 

Major  GeneraM/u.S .  Army 

Deputy  The  Inspector  General 


Enclosure 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DXSSBCTKATXOH  IS  PROEXBXTXD 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 


148 


SAIG-IN   (20-lb)  22  July  1994 

MEMORANDUM  THRU 
/ 


FOR  U) 

SUBJECT:   Alleged  Impropriety  by  a  Senior  Official 


1.  PURPOSE:   To  provide  DTIG  recommendations  concerning  an 
alleged  impropriety  by  Major  General  (MG)  Edison  E.  Scholes, 
Deputy  Commanding  General,  Allied  Land  Forces  Southeastern  Europe 

(Formerly  Deputy  Commander,  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  and  Fort 
Bragg,  NC) . 

2.  BACKGROUND:   The  General  Accounting  Office  (GAO)  informed  the 
Department  of  the  Army  Inspector  General  (DAIG)  that  members  of 
the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  (ACR)  received  valorous  awards 
for  participation  in  an  action  on  27  February  1951  at  Qalib  Al 
Luhays  airfield,  Iraq,  during  Operation  Desert  Storm.   This 
action  did  not  involve  contact  with  an  armed  enemy. 
Investigations  of  that  action  have  revealed  that  elements  of  the 
3rd  ACR  were  operating  out  of  their  assigned  boundaries  when  they 
fired  on  a  friendly  unit,  killing  one  U.S.  soldier  and  wounding 
two. 

3.  EVIDENCE: 

a.   Army  Regulation  (AR)  672-5-1,  Military  Awards, 
provided  Army  policy  on  awards  and  decorations. 

(1)   Paragraph  2-15  authorized  the  award  of  the  Bronze 
Star  Medal  (BSM)  to  any  soldier  who  distinguished  himself  by 
heroic  or  meritorious  achievement  or  service  in  connection 
with  military  operations  against  an  armed  enemy. 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  EY  AR  20-1. 


149 


(2)  Paragraph  c-6  stated  the  "V"  device  was  to  be 
worn  to  denote  "participation  ir.  acts  of  heroism  involving 
conflict  with  an  armed  enemv." 


(3)   Paragraph  l-28a  stated  an  award  could  be  revoked 
by  the  awarding  authority  "if  facts  subsequently  determined 
would  have  prevented  original  approval  of  the  award  had  they 
been  known  at  the  time."   In  deciding  to  revoke  an  award,  the 
awarding  authority  must  consider  comments  from  the  individual 
concerned.   Awarding  authorities  can  refer  decisions  to  the 
Commander,  Total  U.S.  Army  Personnel  Command  (PERSCOM)  and 
individuals  can  appeal  decisions  to  PERSCOK.   ["££■    1) 

b.  Commander,  U.S.  Army  Central  Command  (COMMUSARCENT) 
message,  dated  221926z  Jan  91,  subject:   Delegation  of  Wartime 
Award  Approval  Authority,  delegated  the  authority  to  award  the 
Bronze  Star  Medal  to  commanders  in  the  rank  of  Major  General 
or  higher.   (TAB  2) 

c.  Headquarters  (HQ) ,  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  and 

Fort  Bragg  permanent  orders  #  83-67,  dated  2  May  19S1,  awarded 
the  BSM  with  "V"  device  to  Sergeant  (SGT)  Kenneth  Shumate  for 
"heroism  involving  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy"  on 
27  February  1991.   A  review  of  the  awards  packet  revealed: 

(1)  The  awards  packet  contained  a  Recommendation  for 
Award  (DA  form  63  8)  signed  by  Captain  (CPT)  Patrick  J. 
Venezia,  a  statement  by  CPT  Venezia,  a  narrative 
justification,  an  awards  board  worksheet  signed  by  MG  Scholes 
recommending  approval,  and  a  BSM  certificate. 

(2)  The  proposed  citation  on  the  handwritten  DA  form 
638  stated  SGT  Shumate  dismounted  to  take  prisoners  "in  the 
face  of  hostile  fire"  and  with  "reported  enemy  fire  and 
burning  vehicles"  to  his  front.   SGT  Shumate  was  also  credited 
with  saving  the  lives  of  at  least  4  American  soldiers. 

(3)  The  statement  and  supporting  narrative  clarify 
that,  while  SGT  Shumate's  unit  originally  thought  they  were  in 
contact  with  the  enemy,  once  on  the  ground  SGT  Shumate  and 
CPT  Venezia  discovered  that  the  reported  enemy  were,  in  fact, 
fellow  U.S.  soldiers. 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

2 


150 


(4)  According  tc  the  DA  form  638,  the  statement,  and 
the  narrative,  these  actions  occurred  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays 
Airfield,  Iraq,  at  C200,  27  February  1591. 

(5)  The  BSM  certificate  contained  a  generic 
description  of  SGT  Shumate's  accomplishments  on  27  February 
1991  without  referring  to  Qalib  Al  Luhays  Airfield.   (TAB  3) 

d.   HQ,  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  and  Fort  Bragg  permanent 
orders  £  83-106,  dated  2  May  1991,  awarded  the  BSM  with  "V" 
device  to  C?T  Venezia.   A  review  of  the  awards  packet 
revealed: 

(1)  The  awards  packet  contained  a  handwritten 
DA  form  638  signed  by  Lieutenant  Colonel  (LTC)  John  Daly, 
Commander,  3/3  ACR,  a  handwritten  statement  signed  by 

Staff  Sergeant  (SSG)  Diego  Wolborsky,  a  handwritten  statement 
signed  by  SGT  Patrick  P.  Nelson,  a  handwritten  narrative,  a 
first  endorsement  recommending  approval  signed  by 
Colonel  (COL)  Douglas  Starr,  Commander,  3rd  ACR,  an  awards 
board  worksheet  signed  by  MG  Scholes  recommending  approval, 
and  a  BSM  certificate. 

(2)  The  proposed  citation  on  the  handwritten  DA  form 
638  stated  CPT  Venezia  dismounted  to  take  prisoners  "in  the 
face  of  hostile  fire"  and  with  "reported  enemy  fire  and 
burning  vehicles"  to  his.,  front.   CPT  Venezia  was  also  credited 
with  saving  the  lives  of  at  least  4  American  soldiers. 

(3)  The  two  statements  and  supporting  narrative 
clarify  that,  while  CPT  Venezia 's  unit  originally  thought  they 
were  in  contact  with  the  enemy,  once  on  the  ground  SGT  Shumate 
and  CPT  Venezia  discovered  that  the  reported  enemy  were,  in 
fact,  fellow  U.S.  soldiers. 

(4)  According  to  the  DA  form  638,  the  statement,  and 
the  narrative,  these  actions  occurred  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays 
Airfield,  Iraq,  at  C200,  27  February  1991. 

(5)  The  BSM  certificate  contained  a  generic 
description  of  CPT  Venezia' s  accomplishments  on  27  February 
1991  without  referring  to  Qalib  Al  Luhays  Airfield.   (TAB  4) 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

3 


151 


e.   HC\  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  and  Fort  Bragg  permanent 
orders  £  63-105,  dated  2  Kay  1991,  awarded  the  BSK  with  "V" 
device  to  CPT  (now  Major)  David  C.    Bradshaw  for  "heroism 
involving  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy"  on  27  February  1991. 
A  review  of  the  awards  packet  revealed: 

(1)  The  awards  packet  contained  a  handwritten  and 
unsigned  DA  form  638,  a  1st  endorsement  recommending  approval 
signed  by  COL  Starr,  a  handwritten  statement  dated  3  May  1991 
with  an  illegible  signature,  an  automated  version  of  DA  form 
636,  a  narrative  justification,  an  awards  board  worksheet 
signed  by  KG  Schoies  recommending  approval,  and  a  BSM 
certificate . 

(2)  The  handwritten  statement  credited  CPT  Eradshaw 
with  treating  a  wounded  soldier  on  a  medevac  mission  on 

27  February  1991  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Al  Bussayah  Northeast 
airfield.   The  mission  successfully  extracted  one  soldier 
wounded  in  action  and  one  killed  in  action.   The  statement 
makes  no  mention  of  enemy  fire  but  does  cite  restricted 
visibility.   The  statement  also  alludes  to  a  mission  on 
26  February  1991  but  does  not  mention  CPT  Bradshaw  in 
connection  with  that  incident. 

(3)  The  two  DA  form  638 's  specify  the  location  as  Umm 
Hajal  Airfield. 

(4)  The  computer  generated  DA  form  638  cited 
CPT  Bradshaw 's  actions  on  27  February  1991  in  extracting 
wounded  soldiers  from  the  regimental  front  line  area  while  the 
regiment  was  still  "actively  clearing  the  sector  of  enemy." 

(5)  The  narrative  justification  cited  CPT  Bradshaw 's 
participation  on  a  medevac  mission  at  0430  hours  on  the 
morning  of  26  February  1991.   The  narrative  did  not  mention 
hostile  fire  but  stated  that  the  "regiment  was  still  in 
contact  and  clearing  small  pockets  of  resistance"  and  that 
there  was  little  or  no  ambient  light  and  marginal  weather 
conditions . 

(6)  The  awards  board  worksheet  specified  dates  of 
17  Jan  91-7  Mar  91. 


for  official  use  only.  dissemination  is  prohibited 
except  as  authorized  by  ar  2G-i. 

4 


152 


(7)   The  ESM  certificate  ccr.tained  a  generic 
description  cf  C?7  Bradshaw s  accomplishments  en  27  February 
1991  without  referring  to  Qalib  Al  Luhays  Airfield.   (TAB  5) 

f.  SGT  Shumate  stated: 

(1)  He  received  the  BSM  with  "V"  device  in  a  ceremony 
in  May  1991  at  Fort  Bliss,  TX.   He  was  part  of  a  group  of 
scldiers  receiving  recognition.   He  never  saw  the  award 
recommendation  and  was  not  sure  when  he  first  knew  he  had  beer, 
put  in  for  the  BSM  with  "V"  device. 

(2)  He  was  not  aware  of  the  provisions  of  AR  672-5-1 
that  valorous  awards  required  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy. 

(3)  When  he  received  the  award,  he  thought  it  was  for 
his  overall  performance  while  deployed  as  part  of  Operation 
Desert  Storm.   He  was  aware  that  other  soldiers  received  the 
BSM  for  their  overall  performance. 

(4)  The  first  time  he  really  understood  what  the 
award  was  for  was  when  he  was  contacted  by  a  representative  of 
the  GAO  last  month. 

g.  CPT  Venezia  stated: 

(1)  He  received- the  BSM  with  "V"  device  in  a  ceremony 
at  Fort  Bragg,  NC,  in  May  1991. 

(2)  Within  a  day  or  two  of  27  February  1991,  he  was 
told  by  LTC  Daly  that  he  had  been  recommended  for  the  BSM  with 
"V"  for  his  actions  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays  airfield. 

(3)  He  was  not  aware  that  conflict  with  an  armed 
enemy  was  a  prerequisite  for  valorous  awards. 

(4)  CFT  Venezia  felt  the  award  was  justified 
nonetheless  because  his  unit  had  received  fire  believed  to 
come  from  the  enemy  and  it  was  dangerous  to  exit  the  command 
track.   He  felt  that  some  of  the  wounded  U.S.  soldiers  would 
have  died  if  he  had  not  organized  a  medevac . 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

5 


153 


h.   Major  (MAJ)  Bracshaw  staiec: 

(1)  He  received  the  BSM  with  "V"  device  at  Fort  Bliss 
after  his  return  from  Operation  Desert  Storm. 

(2)  He  was  generally  aware  that  "combat"  was  a 
prerequisite  for  valorous  awards. 

(3)  Within  3  or  4  days  after  the  27th  of  February 
1SS1,  he  was  aware  that  he  had  been  put  in  for  the  3SM  with 
"V"  device.   He  thought  that  COL  Starr  or  the  3rd  ACR 
Executive  Officer  had  recommended  him.   He  was  surprised 
because  he  thought  he  was  just  doing  his  job.   He  did  not 
protest  because  he  learned  that  others  on  the  medevac  mission 
were  to  receive  BSM  or  Army  Commendation  Medals  (ARCOM)  with 
"V"  devices. 

(4)  He  understood  that  the  award  was  for  his  actions 
on  the  night  of  26-27  February  1991,  not  necessarily  for  the 
incident  at  the  Qalib  Al  Luhay  airfield.   He  recalled 
participating  in  two  medevac  missions  that  night  but  he  was 
not  sure  if  the  Oalib  Al  Luhay  mission  was  the  first  or  the 
second.   He  said  it  was  a  very  hectic  and  confusing  night. 
The  other  mission  was  to  evacuate  wounded  soldiers  from  a  unit 
that  was  in  contact  with  the  enemy.   During  this  mission,  the 
helicopter  received  fire  from  Iraqi  air  defense. 

i.   KAJ  Benard  J.  Kulifay,  JR,  stated: 

(1)  He  was  assigned  as  the  Deputy  Adjutant  General 
(AG)  of  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  and  Fort  3ragg  from  June  1990 
to  May  1993.   The  Corps  AG  during  that  time  was  COL  Gary 
Gresh. 

(2)  In  the  weeks  after  the  ground  war  ended,  the 
Corps  AG  shop  received  and  processed  thousands  of  award 
recommendations.   There  was  a  great  deal  of  pressure  from 
commanders  to  turn  the  awards  around  quickly.   It  was  also 
hectic  because  the  corps  was  in  the  midst  of  redeployment. 

(3)  Upon  receipt,  award  recommendations  were  screened 
by  the  award  section  consisting  of  a  non-commissioned  officer 
and  a  couple  of  clerks.   They  screened  for  administrative 
requirements  and  completeness. 

FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

6 


154 


(4)  Award  recommendations  that  passed  the 
administrative  screening  were  sent  to  KG  (then  3G)  Scholes 
with  a  cover  sheet .   MG  Scholes  reviewed  the  packets  and 
signed  the  cover  sheet  as  approved  or  disapproved.   He  neither 
approved  nor  disapproved  some  packets  but  directed  that  they 
be  sent  back  to  the  unit  for  additional  justification. 

(5)  Although  the  cover  sheet  was  entitled  "Awards 
Board  Worksheet,"  no  one  else  reviewed  the  recommendations. 
MG  Scholes  served  as  a  one  person  board.   Also,  even  though 
the  cover  sheet  designated  the  action  as  a  board 
"recommendation",  in  fact  it  was  a  final  decision  by 

MG  Scholes.   The  recommendations  went  no  further  and  action 
was  taken  based  on  MG  Scholes'  approval  or  disapproval  of  the 
award. 

(6)  After  approval  by  MG  Scholes,  the  award  packets 
were  boxed  up  for  return  to  Fort  Bragg.  The  Corps  AG  shop 
closed  on  Fort  Bragg  by  the  second  week  in  May  1991.  Once 
back  at  Fort  Bragg,  appropriate  orders  were  cut  and  award 
certificates  were  prepared.  Most  of  the  certificates  were 
signed  by  auto-pen  although  the  Corps  commander,  LTG  Luck, 
may  have  personally  signed  a  few. 

(7)  Award  recommendations  received  after  redeployment 
were  reviewed  and  voted  on  by  a  3  person  awards  board 
consisting  of  MG  Scholesv  the  Command  Sergeant  Major,  and  one 
other  person.   MAJ  Kulifay  could  not  recall  the  names  of  board 
members  other  than  MG  Scholes.   Upon  reviewing  the  award 
packets  of  SGT  Shumate,  CPT  Venezia,  and  CPT  Bradshaw, 

MAJ  Kulifay  concluded  they  had  been  processed  in  Saudi  Arabia 
since  the  cover  sheet  did  not  include  votes  of  board  members 
other  than  MG  Scholes. 

(6)   MAJ  Kulifay  was  generally  aware  that  conflict 
with  an  armed  enemy  was  a  prerequisite  for  a  valorous  award. 
The  only  explanation  he  could  provide  for  how  these  BSM  with 
"V"  devices  were  approved  was  that  they  were  missed  due  to  the 
sheer  volume  of  recommendations  processed  during  that  time. 

j.   COL  Gresh  stated: 

(I)   He  was  the  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps  AG 
from  May  90  to  Jul  93 . 

FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  OKLY .   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

7 


155 


(2)  The  corps  was  extremely  careful  to  fellow 
established  procedures  en  processing  awards  at  the  conclusion 
of  Operation  Desert  Storm  because  it  was  an  important  and 
sensitive  topic.   There  was  no  deviation  from  established 
procedures  while  they  were  deployed. 

(3)  All  BSM  recommendations  were  screened  by  the 
awards  branch  and  then  went  to  a  four  man  board.   The  board 
did  not  sit  "en  banc"  but  rather  circulated  the  files  between 
offices.   Each  board  member  voted  and  indicated  his  vote  on  a 
voting  sheet.   These  sheets  should  still  be  on  file  at  XYIIth 
Airborne  Corps . 

(4)  MG  Scholes  was  the  board  president  and  the  other 
members  were  COL  (now  BG)  Akers,  and  the  G2  and  G4  of  the 
Corps,  whose  names  he  could  not  recall.   MG  Scholes  would  have 
signed  a  sheet  as  the  board  president  which  was  different  than 
the  sheet  containing  the  votes  of  the  board  members.   He  was 
confident  that  MG  Scholes  did  not  function  as  a  one  member 
board  and  that  the  Corps  Commander,  GEN  Luck,  personally  acted 
on  every  recommendation  from  the  board.   GEN  Luck  approved 
some  awards,  disapproved  some,  and  even  reconsidered  and 
reversed  himself  on  some  actions.   GEN  Luck  initialed  the 
board  recommendation  worksheets  to  indicate  he  had  seen  them. 

[10  NOTE:   The  award  packets  originally  obtained  from  XVIIlth 
Airborne  Corps  each  included  an  "awards  board  worksheet"  which 
contained  the  board  recommendation  and  the  signature  of 
3G  Scholes  as  the  board  president.   There  were  no  worksheets 
reflecting  individual  board  members'  votes  or  GEN  Luck's 
initials.   Based  on  COL  Gresch ' s  statement,  XVIIlth  Airborne 
Corps  files  were  rechecked;  however,  no  additional  documents 
were  found.] 

(5)  MAJ  Kulifay,  the  Deputy  Corps  AG  and  Chief  of 
Personnel  Actions,  served  as  the  board  recorder  and  oversaw 
the  award  process  and  therefore  was  the  best  person  to  talk 
with  concerning  the  procedures.   MAJ  Kulifay  was  much  more 
involved  with  the  awards  process  than  he  was  and  MAJ  Kulifay 
was  the  one  who  took  the  packets  to  MG  Scholes,  answered 
questions  about  the  recommendations,  and  retrieved  the 
packet-s .   He  described  MAJ  Kulifay  as  an  outstanding  officer. 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 


156 


(6)  He  was  knowledgeable  of  the  requirement  that 
valorous  awards  be  based  en  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy.   He 
could  not  explain  how  BSK  with  "V"  devices  could  have  been 
approved  for  other  circumstances.   At  Corps,  they  did  not  know 
much  about  instances  of-  fratricide  until  after  they  had 
returned  to  Fort  Bragg.   He  recalled  the  incident  involving 
the  3rd  ACR  at  the  airfield  being  reported  that  night  with 
casualties.   At  the  time,  he  was  under  the  impression  that  the 
incident  had  involved  enemy  contact  as  well  as  elements  of  the 
3rd  ACR  "accidentally"  firing  on  other  friendlies. 

(7)  He  took  full  responsibility  for  mistakes  that  may 
have  been  made  and  strongly  recommended  that  the  procedures  of 
AR  672-5-1  be  followed  to  revoke  the  awards. 

k.   LTC  Patricia  A.  Sigle,  Chief,  Military  Awards  Branch, 
The  Adjutant  General  Directorate,  PERSCOM,  stated: 

(1)  Army  regulations  do  not  require  that  commanders 
use  a  board  to  screen  award  recommendations. 

(2)  Regulations  do  not  specify  the  number  of  members 
for  an  awards  board  if  a  board  is  used.   MG  Scholes  could  have 
served  as  a  one  man  awards  board  for  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps. 

(3)  The  Commanding  General,  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps 
could  not  delegate  approval  authority  to  MG  Scholes  or  anyone 
else .   Award  of  the  BSM  would  have  required  his  personal 
approval  even  if  MG  Scholes  had  recommended  approval. 

4.   DISCUSSION: 

a.   Since  the  commander  of  the  3rd  ACR  was  a  colonel, 
recommendations  for  the  BSM  would  have  had  to  have  been 
forvarded  to  the  Commanding  General,  XVIIIth  Airborne  Corps, 
for  approval .   MG  Scholes  could  not  have  approved 
recommendations  for  the  BSM  because,  at  the  time,  he  was  not  a 
Major  General  and  not  in  command.   Award  of  the  BSM  for 
members  of  the  3rd  ACR  required  GEN  Luck's  approval.   The 
delegation  of  approval  authority  and  the  award  approval 
process  did  not  distinguish  between  BSM  and  BSM  with  "V" 
device . 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

S 


157 


b.  Orders  for  the  awards  in  question  were  HQ,  XVIIIth 
Airborne  Corps  orders  signed  "For  Tne  Commander"  and  the  HSM 
certificates  bear  GEN  Luck's  signature.   Therefore,  these 
awards  were,  for  all  intents  and  purposes,  approved  by 

GEN  Luck. 

c.  The  statements  of  MAJ  Kulifay  and  COL  Gresch  were  at 
odds  on  how  award  recommendations  were  processed  at  Corps 
headquarters  in  Saudi  Arabia.   MAJ  Kulifay 's  explanation  that 
MG  Scholes  served  as  a  one  man  board  and  recommendations  he 
approved  did  not  have  to  go  further  was  consistent  with  what 
the  available  documents  indicated.   COL  Gresch  acknowledged 
that  MAJ  Kulifay  would  be  the  best  source  of  information  on 
how  the  process  worked.   Therefore,  MAJ  Kulifay 's  statement 
was  presumed  to  be  more  accurate . 

d.  The  approval  of  award  recommendations  at  Corps 
headquarters  was  understandably  hectic  given  the  field 
conditions,  heavy  workload,  and  impending  redeployment. 
The  process  was  expedited  by  having  MG  Scholes  review  the 
packets  after  only  a  preliminary  screening  by  clerks. 

e.  A  careful  reading  of  the  award  recommendations  for 
CPT  Venezia  and  SGT  Shumate  revealed  that  they  were  not  in 
contact  with  an  armed  enemy.   The  recommendation  for 

MAJ  Bradshaw  was  not  as  clear  since,  on  27  February  1991,  he 
was  exposed  to  enemy  fire  on  a  mission  other  than  the  medevac 
at  Qalib  Al  Luhay  airfield.   At  the  time  he  read  these  award 
recommendations,  MG  Scholes  most  likely  did  not  have  a  full 
understanding  of  the  events  of  27  February  1991  at  Qalib  Al 
Luhay  airfield. 

f.  The  combination  of  the  above  factors  resulted  in  the 
approval  of  valorous  awards  for  actions  that  did  not  involve 
conflict  with  an  armed  enemy.   There  was  no  evidence  that  any 
individual  falsified  information  in  the  award  recommendations. 
Likewise,  there  was  no  evidence  that  any  individual  approved  a 
recommendation  for  a  valorous  award  with  the  knowledge  that 
the  events  described  therein  did  not  involve  conflict  with  an 
armed  enemy. 

g.  Regardless  of  the  fact  that  there  may  have  been  no 
personal  impropriety  in  the  approval  of  these  awards,  the 
presentation  of  valorous  awards  to  soldiers  who  did  not  meet 

FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

10 


158 


the  basic  criteria  was  wrong.   It  lessened  the  value  cf 
valorous  awards  earned  by  fully  deserving  soldiers.   In  this 
case,  it  was  a  slap  in  the  face  to  the  survivors  of  the 
friendly  fire  incident  and  the  family  cf  the  deceased  soldier. 
The  actions  of  MAJ  Bradshaw,  CPT  Venezia,  and  SGT  Shumate  may 
have  been  deserving  of  some  recognition,  but  not  the  BSM  with 
"V"  device . 

5.  CONCLUSIONS: 

a.  The  allegation  MG  Scholes  improperly  approved  valorous 
awards  of  the  BSM  was  not  substantiated. 

b.  The  valorous  awards  of  CPT  Venezia  and  SGT  Shumate 
should  be  revoked  in  accordance  with  paragraph  l-28a, 

AR  672-5-1.   The  valorous  award  of  MAJ  Bradshaw  should  be 
reviewed  for  possible  revocation  as  well. 

6.  OTHER  MATTERS:   There  were  indications  of  a  systemic 
problem  in  the  approval  of  valorous  awards  for  acts  not 
involving  conflict  with  an  armed  enemy.   For  example,  the 
following  members  of  I  Troop,  3rd  Squadron,  3rd  ACR,  received 
Army  Commendation  (ARCOM)  Medals  with  "V"  devices  for  the 
incident  at  Qalib  Al  Luhays  Airfield  on  27  February  1991: 

Corporal  Mark  Valentine 
Private  First  Class  Patrick  C.  Gilmore 
Private  Derek  Joseph 
Specialist  Christopher  A.  Kardman 
(TAB  6) 

7 .  RECOMMENDATIONS : 

a.  DAIG  not  investigate. 

b.  File  as  a  miscellaneous  action. 

c.  The  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army  for  Manpower  and 
Reserve  Affairs  (ASA  M&RA)  be  requested  to  take  appropriate 
action  to: 

(1)   Revoke  the  valorous  awards  identified  in  this 
preliminary  analysis. 

FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 

EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 

11 


159 


(2)   Identify  and  revoke  other  valorous  awards 
improperly  authorized  for  the  incident  at  Qaiib  Al  Luhays 
Airfield  or  ether  known  fratricide  incidents  during  Operation 
Desert  Storm. 

d.   A  copy  of  this  preliminary  analysis  be  approved  for 
release  to  the  ASA  (M&RA) . 


Colonel,  IG 
Investiaator 


APPROVED 


<rfa 

j 


DISAPPROVED 


SEE  ME 


R!  S.  SIEGFRIED 

Major  GeneiAli    USA 

Deputy  The  Inspector  General 


FOR  OFFICIAL  USE  ONLY.   DISSEMINATION  IS  PROHIBITED 
EXCEPT  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  AR  20-1. 


160 


...  r.?c  :tftL  US'-   v  ;  ' 

ASSISTANT  SECRETARY  OF  DEFENSE 

4000  DEFENSE  PENTAGON 
WASHINGTON.  DC    20301-4000 

FORCE^NAGO^NT  J^      2    5    1995 

Mr.  Richard  C.  Stiener 
Director,  Office  of  Special  Investigations 
U.S.  General  Accounting  Office 
Washington,  DC  20548 

Dear  Mr.  Stiener 

This  is  the  Department  of  Defense  response  to  the  General  Accounting  Office  (GAO) 
final  report.  GAO/OSI  -95-10,  "OPERATION  DESERT  STORM:  Investigation  of  a  U.S.  Army 
Fratricide  Incident"  (GAO  Code  600279/OSD  Case  9913).  In  addition  to  the  report 
recommendations,  the  response  also  addresses  two  specific  issues  raised  by  Senator  Roth  in  his 
May  24,  1995,  letter  to  this  office. 

It  is  the  Department's  position  that  the  GAO  report  is  essentially  accurate  and  mirrors  to  a 
large  extent  the  Army's  investigation.  The  final  Army  report  of  investigation  contains 
essentially  the  same  evidence  as  was  used  by  the  GAO  in  preparing  its  report,  with  the  exception 
of  the  audio  tape  provided  to  the  GAO  investigators.  Further,  with  the  exception  of  the  issue  of 
the  awards  presented  to  the  3rd  Armored  Cavalry  Regiment  personnel,  the  Commanding 
General,  Forces  Command,  generally  reached  the  same  conclusions  cited  in  the  GAO  report. 

It  is  also  important  to  note  that  issues  raised  concerning  deficiencies  present  in  both  the 
initial  and  subsequent  investigations  were  identified  by  Army  senior  leadership  and  corrected 
prior  to  any  decision  being  made  on  the  incident 

The  enclosed  response  contains  information  not  normally  released  under  the  Privacy  Act 
and/or  Freedom  of  Information  Act  and  should  not  be  released  outside  the  GAO. 


Sincerely, 


.*f 


Enclosures: 
As  stated 


/,* 


$enatr  i  ■-  rmmr 

OR  OFFICIAL  USE  0/.L  EXm«         30 


© 


161 


GENERAL  ACCOUNTING  OFFICE  FINAL  REPORT  -  GAO/OSI-95-1 0 
(GAO  CODE  600279)   OSD  CASE  9913 

"OPERATION  DESERT  STORM:   INVESTIGATION  OF  A 
U.S.  ARMY  FRATRICIDE  INCIDENT" 

DEPARTMENT  OF  DEFENSE  COMMENTS 

RECOMMENDATIONS 


RECOMMENDATION  1 :   The  GAO  recommended  that  the 
Secretary  of  the  Army  reexamine,  for  appropriateness, 
the  disciplinary  actions  taken  regarding  the  fratricide 
incident  and  the  disposition  of  those  actions.   (p.  6, 
p.93/GAO  Final  Report) 

POD  RESPONSE:   Concur.   Four  officers  involved  in  the 
fratricide  incident  received  some  form  of 
administrative  disciplinary  action  from  the  FORSCOM 
Commander:  Colonel  (retired)  Douglas  Starr,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  John  Daly,  former  Captain  B.H.  Friesen,  and 
former  First  Lieutenant  Kevin  Wessels.   The  first  three 
officers  received  General  Officer  Memoranda  of 
Reprimand.   First  Lieutenant  Wessels  received  a  General 
Officer  Memorandum  of  Admonishment,  not  filed  in  his 
military  personnel  files. 

In  accordance  with  Army  policy,  the  memoranda  of 
reprimand  were  referred  to  the  three  officers  for  their 
comments  prior  to  a  decision  whether  the  reprimands 
should  be  filed  in  official  military  personnel  files. 
After  considering  the  officers'  comments,  the  FORSCOM 
Commander  withdrew  Captain  Friesen' s  reprimand, 
determined  not  to  file  Colonel  Starr's  reprimand  in  his 
military  personnel  files,  and  filed  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Daly's  reprimand  in  his  military  personnel  records 
jacket  for  a  period  of  one  year  from  the  date  he 
reported  to  his  job  at  the  Office  of  the  Deputy  Chief 
of  Staff  for  Operations  and  Plans,  HQDA. 

Of  these  four  officers,  only  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly 
remains  in  the  Active  Army.   Colonel  Starr  voluntarily 
retired  and  the  other  two  officers  voluntarily  resigned 
their  commissions.   Colonel  Daly,  whose  actions  were 
the  focus  of  much  of  the  criticism  in  the  GAO  report, 
is  currently  assigned  to  Headquarters,  Department  of 
the  Army,  and  is  therefore  within  the  court-martial 
jurisdiction  of  the  Commander,  Military  District  of 
Washington  (MDW) . 


162 

FOR  OFV*  ;1" 

-2- 


A  copy  of  the  GAO  report  and  the  prior  Army 
investigations  have  been  forwarded  to  the  Commander, 
MDW  for  review  and  determination  as  to  whether  any 
further  action  is  appropriate.   This  action  is  in 
accordance  with  Rule  for  Courts-Martial  306(b) 
contained  in  the  Manual  for  Courts-Martial,  United 
States,  1984,  as  most  recently  amended  by  Executive 
Order  12888,  December  23,  1993.   That  rule  provides 
that  allegations  of  offenses  should  be  disposed  of  at 
the  lowest  appropriate  level  by  a  commander  with 
authority  to  direct  disposition  of  the  allegations. 
Until  any  action  taken  by  the  Commander,  MDW,  has  been 
finalized,  it  would  be  inappropriate  for  the  Secretary 
of  the  Army,  as  head  of  the  Department  of  the  Army,  to 
review  the  appropriateness  of  any  disciplinary  actions 
taken  against  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly.   Although  we 
cannot  be  specific  as  to  when  the  Commander,  MDW  will 
complete  his  review,  the  Army  anticipates  that  a 
decision  will  be  made  by  September  1,  1995. 

RECOMMENDATION  2:   The  GAO  recommended  that  the 
Secretary  of  the  Army  follow  up  on  the  Army  Office  of 
the  Inspector  General  request  that  improperly  supported 
awards  for  participation  in  fratricide  incidents  be 
revoked.   (p.  6,  p.  9 3 /GAO  Final  Report) 

POD  RESPONSE:   Concur.   On  April  18,  1995  the  Army 
revoked  the  awards  for  valor  issued  to  the  seven 
recipients  identified  in  the  Army  Office  of  the 
Inspector  General  (DAIG)  report  on  the  fratricide 
incident.   The  awards  were  revoked  because  they  had 
been  awarded  for  acts  not  involving  conflict  with  an 
armed  enemy.   On  the  same  date,  awards  were  ordered  for 
non-valorous  achievement.   On  May  5,  1995,  those  awards 
also  were  revoked  by  direction  of  the  Secretary  of  the 
Army  pending  further  review.   At  that  time,  the 
Secretary  announced  that  he  would  make  the  final 
decision  on  any  award  recommendations  based  on  that 
review. 

The  Army  is  also  reviewing  all  awards  received  by 
service  members  involved  in  fratricide  incidents  during 
Desert  Shield/Storm  to  determine  the  propriety  of  those 
awards.   Because  award  approval  authority  during  a 
wartime  environment  is,  for  the  most  part, 
decentralized,  records  must  be  gathered  from  the  files 
of  various  commands,  both  Active  and  Reserve.   This 
process  will  take  some  time.   The  target  date  for 
completion  of  the  preliminary  review  of  Army  files  is 
August  1 ,  1995. 


•OR  OFFICIAL  USE  QUi 


163 


-3- 


It  should  be  noted  that  the  Army  delegated  the 
authority  to  approve  awards  to  field  commanders  during 
Desert  Storm.   When  such  authority  is  delegated  in  the 
future,  guidance  concerning  friendly  fire  incidents 
will  be  included  and  emphasized  with  the  delegation. 


ISSUE  1 :   Application  of  Army  policy  to  this  case. 

POD  RESPONSE:   The  Army's  policy  regarding  non-criminal 
investigations  is  contained  in  AR  15-6,  Procedure  for 
Investigating  Officers  and  Boards  of  Officers.   The 
Army  agrees  with  the  GAO  conclusion  that  there  were 
deficiencies  in  the  initial  and  subsequent 
investigations  into  this  case.   Although  required  by 
AR  15-6,  the  initial  investigating  officer  did  not 
conduct  a  complete  and  thorough  investigation  and  the 
supplemental  investigating  officer's  findings  and 
recommendations  were  not  supported  by  available 
evidence  uncovered  during  the  investigations. 

The  review  process  contained  in  AR  1 5-6  led  to  the 
identification  of  these  deficiencies  by  Headquarters, 
Department  of  the  Army,  and  senior  Army  leaders.   This 
review  process  was,  however,  unnecessarily  long  and 
laborious.   After  identifying  these  deficiencies,  the 
FORSCOM  Commander  ultimately  was  able  to  obtain  the 
best  available  evidence  and  information  regarding  the 
incident.   Based  on  the  recommendation  of  his  Staff 
Judge  Advocate,  the  initial  findings  and 
recommendations  were  modified  and  approved  by  the 
FORSCOM  Commander. 

ISSUE  2:   Adequacy  of  Army  policy  regarding 
non-criminal  investigations  including  authority  to 
initiate,  selection  of  investigating  officers,  and 
investigative  review  procedures. 

POD  RESPONSE:   Army  policy,  contained  in  AR  15-6,  is 
intended  to  ensure  that  non-criminal  investigations  are 
appropriately  conducted.   As  a  result  of  this 
investigation,  the  Army  is  taking  a  harder  look  at  the 
overall  investigative  process  contained  in  that 
regulation  with  a  view  towards  re-energizing  commanders 
on  the  overall  process.   Commanders  need  to  be  more 
aware  of  the  investigative  process  and,  in  particular, 
of  the  need  to  seek  legal  advice  early  on. 


"•\r  pc 


164 


-4- 


Currently,  AR  15-6  is  undergoing  revision  as  a  result 
of  lessons  learned  in  the  field,  including  lessons 
learned  from  this  and  other  serious  incidents.   Several 
changes  under  consideration  would  mandate  practices 
already  in  widespread  use  throughout  the  Army  (as 
illustrated  in  this  case),  such  as  close  staff  judge 
advocate  involvement  in  all  complex  investigations, 
referral  of  investigations  directly  involving  a 
commander  to  the  next  higher  level  of  command  for 
action,  and  establishing  additional  criteria  for 
selection  of  mature  and  experienced  investigating 
officers . 


165 


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167 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

l!  S.  TOTAL  ARMY  PERSONNEL  COMMAND 
ALEXANDRIA,  VA 

22332-0471 


KIH.TTO 
ATTltfTloK  o* 


PERMANENT    ORDERS    18  0-11 


29  June  1995 


Following1  order  is  revoked  or  rescinded  as  shown. 

Action:   Revoke 

So  much  of:   Permanent  Order  91-42,  U.S.  Total  Army  Personnel 
Command,  Alexandria,  Virginia  22332-0471,  dared  30  May  1991 
Pertaining  to:   Award  of  the  Bronze  star  Medal,  with  "V"  device 

to  FIELDER,  DOUGLAS  L.   415-90-9294,  SGT,  C  Company,  54th 
Engineer  Battalion,  APO  New  York  09026 
Authority:   AR  600-8-22 
Format:   705 


BY  ORDER  OF  TEE  SECRETARY  OF  THE  A5 


DISTRIBUTION : 

Next  of  Kin  (1) 

NPRC  (1) 

Files  (3) 


?ETER  G. 
KAJ,  GS 
chief.  Military  Awards  Branch 


OW'B/T 


168 


REPLY  TO 
ATTENTION  Of 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

U.S.  TOTAL  ARMY  PERSONNEL  COMMAND 

ALEXANDRIA,  VA 

22332-0471 


PERMANENT  ORDERS  18  0-10 


29  June  1995 


FIELDER,  DOUGLAS  L.   415-90-9294   SGT  Company  C,  54th  Engineer 
Battalion,  APO  New  York  09026 

Announcement  is  made  of  the  following  award. 

Award:   Soldiers  Medal  (Posthumous) 

Date(s)  or  period  of  service:   27  February  1991 

Authority:   Paragraph  3-12,  AR  600-3-22 

Reason:   For  heroism 

Format:   320 


BY  ORDER  OF  THE  SECRETAR*  OF  THE  ARMY: 


DISTRIBUTION: 
Next  of  Kin   (1) 
NPRC     (1) 
Files  (3) 


DAGNES 
HAJ,  GS 

Chief,  Military  Awards  Branch 


Sfctrts  Pwmaneirt  Subcommittee 

9-  IliSiigatXMS 


169 


DEPARTMENT  Of  THE  ARMY 

U.S.  TOTAL ABMY PERSONNEL  COMMAND 

.      ALEXANDRIA,  V A 

22332-0471 


wovrm 

insinoM  of 


PERMANENT 'ORDERS    181-4 

Following  Order -is   revoked  or  rescinded  as   shown. 


3  0  June  199  5 


Action:   Revoke 

So  much  of i   Permanent  Order  83-112,  Headquarters,  XVin  Airborne 
Corps  and  Fort  Bragg,  Fort  Bragg,  North  Carolina 
28307-5000  dated  2  May  1991 
Pertaining  to:   Award  of  the  Bronze  Star  Medal,  to  DALY,  JOHN  K. 
Jr.   552-88-3186,  LTC,  HHT,  3d  BN,  3d  Armored 
Cavalry  Regiment,  Fort  Bliss,  Texas  79916 
Authority:   AR  600-8-22 
Format:   705 


BY  ORDER  OF  THE  SECRETARY  OF  THE  ARMY 


DISTRIBUTION: 

WC  Daly  {l) 

TAPC-MSR  (1) 

Files  (3) 


KAJ,    GS 

Chief,   Military  Awards  Branch 


EXHIFvii  6    5*/ 


170 


*HllAV  >     «C>"     J*      MUiMMI     C-IKMH 


M»afe  PaiBiituii  '.ucaHnmitt*. 


iostivhws  »uk4«ji  john  gun*!  Ohio  Wi   itWWBpoOWc? 

Hnitcd  3tatcs  3d 


■WLUAJAS   COMCN   MAIN!  SAM  NUNS   GtOAGU 

*AIO  TMOMASOW    T»"»,*SM(  CAAk  LIVIH    M*  m>„.N  _^    r~ 

TaAOCOCMAAN    MiSHSS'»*i  OAVIO  **"OA   ARKANSAS  TVIIlOfT     4t  j\} 

CKAAL1S I   GAASSlf  ▼  OWA  JOSf  Am  i  uCtEAMA*  CONNf  CTlCUl  *k<  ^  <Mkv  f  IHlHl  t     1 

JOHN  McCAiN  ARIZONA  OANtft  K  AAAAA  maiwah 

•  OS  SAIITH    *EWMAMASHM(  SVAQN  I    OOA&A".    NO»T  M  OA«  0  '  * 


COMMITTEE  ON 
GOVERNMENTAL  AFFAIRS 

WASHINGTON.  DC  20510-6250 


July  11,  1995 


The  Honorable  Sara  E.  Lister 
Assistant  Secretary  for  Manpower 

and  Reserve  Affairs 
Department  of  the  Army 
The  Pentagon 
Washington,  D.C.   20310 

Dear  Secretary  Lister: 

This  letter  follows  up  on  several  matters  that  arose  during 
the  Army's  June  29,  1995  testimony  before  the  Permanent 
Subcommittee  on  Investigations  at  a  hearing  concerning  the 
friendly  fire  death  of  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder. 

During  the  hearing,  the  Subcommittee  requested  the  prompt 
resolution  of  several  outstanding  issues.   The  Army  indicated  in 
each  instance  that  it  would  take  action  on  those  issues 
expeditiously.   So  that  we  are  kept  informed  of  the  progress  made 
on  each  issue,  the  Subcommittee  hereby  requests  that  the  Army 
provide  it  with  the  following  information  and  documentation: 

A  copy  of  the  letter  to  Mr.  Kevin  J.  wessels  retracting  and 
apologizing  for  the  April  14,  1992  letter  of  admonishment 
that  he  received  from  General  Edwin  H.  Burba. 

Documentation  regarding  the  withdrawal  of  the  Bronze  Star 
Medal  with  "V"  device  that  was  awarded  to  Sergeant  Fielder, 
and  documentation  awarding  him  the  Soldier's  Medal. 

Written  confirmation  that  the  Army  has  corrected  Sergeant 
Fielder's  headstone  to  reflect  accurately  the  awards  he  has 
received. 

Documentation  regarding  the  Secretary  of  the  Army's  final 
decision  on  the  revocation  of  the  three  Bronze  Star  Medals 
and  four  Army  Commendation  Medals  awarded  to  soldiers  who 
were  present  during  the  friendly  fire  incident. 

Regarding  Lt.  Col.  John  H.  Daly,  Jr.,  the  Subcommittee 
inquired  about  two  additional  matters  for  which  we  would  like  to 
receive  prompt  information: 


171 


The  Honorable  Sara  E.  Lister 
Page  2 


Any  action  taken  on  the  Bronze  Star  Medal  awarded  to  Lt. 
Col.  Daly  on  May  2,  1991. 

Any  disciplinary  action  taken  or  recommended  against  Lt. 
Col.  Daly. 


Please  provide  the  requested  information  and  documentation 
to  Harold  Damelin,  the  Subcommittee's  Staff  Director  and  Chief 
Counsel.   You  may  contact  him  at  (202)  224-3721  to  coordinate 
this  request. 

Thank  you  for  your  prompt  attention  to  this  request. 

Sincerely, 


wTlliam  V.  Rotfi>  Jr. 
Chairman 

Permanent  Subcommittee 
on  Investigations 


;/A~- 


ate 


172 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  AHMY 

US  TOTAL  ARMY  PERSONNEL  COMMAND 
ALEXANDRIA,  VA 

22332-0471 


ATmmoM  o* 


PERMANENT  ORDERS   194-1 

Following  Order   is  revoked  or  rescinded  as   shown. 


13  July  1995 


Action:   Revoke 

So  much  of:   Permanent  order  502-11,  Headquarters,  xvtii  Airborne 
Corps  and  Fort  Bragg,  Fort  Bragg,  North  Carolina 
28307-5000  dated  IS  March  1991 

Pertaining  to:   Award  of  the  Bronze  Star  Medal  with  "V"  device, 
(3d  Oak  Leaf  Cluster)  to  STARS,  DOUGLAS  H. 
401-58-7437,  COL,  hht,  3d  bn,  3d  Armored  Cavalry 
Regiment,  Fort  Bragg,  North  Carolina  28307 

Authority:   AR  600-8-22 

Format:   70S 


BY  ORDER  OF  THE  SECRETARY  OF  THE 


DISTRIBUTION: 

COL  STARR  (1) 

ARPERCEN  (1) 

Files  (3) 


MAT,  CS 

Chief,  Military  Awards  Branch 


M*  hnect 
EXHIBlf  *J2&0 


173 


ATTIWTIOWOF 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

OFFICE  OF  THE  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY 

MANPOWER  AND  RESERVE  AFFAIRS 

111  ARMY  PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON  OC  20310-0111 


July  13,  1995  Senate  r>  r>;r.tnl  SftaMnmittev 

■*■  iwmOysfym 
Mr.  Kevin  J.  Wessels  -_ 

14725  Portland  Avenue,  #1 1 8  £XHiafi'  *  — =2Z 

Bumsville,  MN  55306 

Dear  Mr.  Wessels, 

The  final  report  by  the  Government  Accounting  Office  and  the 

"Army's  finding's  with  regard  to  the  fratricide  incident  or  26Teb"ruary  1 990     " 

in  Iraq  have  convinced  me  that  the  letter  of  admonishment  served  upon 
you  by  Commander,  FORSCOM  was  not  justified.  All  evidence  indicates 
that  your  actions  that  night  to  protect  your  soldiers  were  commendable. 

On  the  behalf  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Army,  I  would  like  to 
apologize  for  any  pain  or  embarrassment  the  letter  has  caused.  I  regret 
that  it  has  taken  so  long  to  correct  what  is  now  so  apparently  wrong. 
General  Griffith  told  me  you  were  a  fine  soldier  who  did  your  duty  well. 
The  Army  misses  your  service. 

I  have  provided  General  Burba  a  copy  of  this  letter. 

Sincerely, 

Sara  E.  Lister 
Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army 
(Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs) 


174 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

OFFICE  OF  THE  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY 

MANPOWER  ANO  RESERVE  AFFAIRS 

111  ARMY  PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON  DC  20310-0111 

July    24,    1995     . 


Honorable  William  V.  Roth 

Chairman,  Senate  Permanent  Subcommittee 

on  Investigations 
United  States  Senate 
Washington,  DC  20510 

Dear  Mr  Chairman: 


This  letter  serves  as  an  interim  response  to  your  correspondence  of  July  11, 
1995,  requesting  information  and  accompanying  documentation  of  actions  taken 
by  the  United  States  Army  following  the  Senate  Hearing  into  the  friendly  fire  death 
of  Sergeant  D  Lance  Fielder. 

I  have  sent  a  personal  letter  of  apology  to  Mr  Kevin  J  Wessels 
apologizing  for  the  April  14,  1992,  letter  of  admonishment  that  he  received  from 
General  Edwin  H.  Burba.  A  copy  of  this  letter  is  attached  at  TAB  A. 

The  Army  immediately  withdrew  the  Bronze  Star  Medal  with  "V"  device 
awarded  to  Sergeant  Fielder    Sergeant  Fielder's  family  was  awarded  his  Soldier's 
Medal  at  a  presentation  ceremony  held  in  Memphis,  Tennessee,  on  July  13,  1995 
Command  Sergeant  Major  Richard  B.  Cayton,  US.  Army  Forces  Command,  and 
Command  Sergeant  Major,  1st  Armored  Division  during  Operation  Desert  Storm 
(Sergeant  Fielder's  unit),  presented  the  award.  Copies  of  the  award  actions  are 
attached  at  TAB  B 

On  June  30,  1995,  the  Secretary  of  the  Army,  the  Honorable  Togo  D 
West,  Jr  ,  revoked  the  Bronze  Star  awarded  to  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly 
Additionally,  Mr  West  directed  revocation  of  the  Bronze  Star  with  "V"  device 
awarded  to  Colonel  (Retired)  Douglas  H.  Starr,  Commander  of  the  3d  Armored 
Cavalry  Regiment  at  the  time  of  the  incident.  This  revocation  was  effective  on 
July  13,  1995.  Copies  of  these  orders  are  attached  at  TAB  C. 

The  Department  of  Veterans  Affairs  is  currently  preparing  a  new  headstone 
for  the  grave  of  Sergeant  Fielder    We  have  coordinated  with  Mrs.  Harris  to  ensure 
that  the  wording  is  to  her  satisfaction  and  accurately  reflects  the  awards  Sergeant 
Fielder  received.  The  headstone  should  be  in  place  by  August  1,  1995. 


Senate  Permarsnt  Subcommittee 
on  liwestigations 

EXHIBIT  *    3S 


175 


-2- 


I  will  notify  you  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Army-s  final  decision  on  the 
revocation  of  the  three  Bronze  Star  Medals  and  four  Army  Commendation  Medals 
awarded  to  soldiers  who  were  present  during  the  friendly  fire  incident  and  on  any 
disciplinary  action  taken  or  recommended  against  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly 


If  I  may  be  of  further  assistance,  please  let  me  know. 

Sincerely, 


I 


Sara  E.  Lister 
Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army 
(Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs) 


usQ. 


Enclosures 


176 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

UNITED  STATES  ARMY  TRIAL.  DEFENSE  SERVICE 

OFFICE  OF  THE   REGIONAL.  DEFENSE  COUNSEL. 

FORT  GEORGE   S.  MEADE,  MARYLAND     207SS 


August  10,  1995 


Trial  Defense 
Service 


Mr.  Harold  Damelin 

Chief  Counsel  and  Staff  Director 

Permanent  Subcommittee  on  Investigations 

Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs 

United  States  Senate 

Washington,  DC  20510-6250 

Dear  Mr.  Damelin: 

Enclosed  is  a  corrected  copy  of  the  transcript  of  Lieutenant 
Colonel  John  H.  Daly's  testimony  before  the  Permanent  Subcommittee 
on  Investigations  of  the  United  States  Senate  Committee  on 
Governmental  Affairs  regarding  the  investigation  of  a  friendly 
fire  incident  in  the  Persian  Gulf  War.   Corrections  have  been  made 
on  the  transcript  in  red  ink  as  you  requested  in  your  letter  of 
July  11  to  Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly.  Also  enclosed  are  21  pages  of 
material  for  insertion  in  the  record.   Each  page  for  insertion 
includes  a  reference  to  the  page  and  line  number  of  the  transcript 
where  it  should  be  placed;  the  transcript  has  also  been  marked  to 
indicate  where  insertions  for  the  record  should  be  placed. 

We  request  a  copy  of  the  corrected  transcript  with  the 
material  inserted  for  the  record  when  it  has  been  completed.   If 
possible,  please  send  us  a  copy  of  the  complete  Senate  report  when 
it  is  completed.   If  you  have  questions  or  require  additional 
information,  please  contact  me. 

Sincerely, 


<^m,h 


James  P.  Gerstenlauer 
Lieutenant  Colonel,  U.S. 
Regional  Defense  Counsel 


Army 


Copy  Furnished: 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Daly 


$m^  name*  s+rmaM* 
-■••— »•* "  _3j 


177 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


However,  I  am  currently  on  a  list  with  only  my  name  on  it.  That  list  is  held  in  abeyance 
pending  completion  of  3  promotion  review  board. 


•#  -'^astigations 


EW«T#    ^ 


178 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


A  review  of  the  AR  1 5-6  testimony  shows  that  the  information  on  triendlies  in  the  area  was 
limited  to  the  Regimental  Staff  and  above.  Neither  LTC  Hardy,  Commander  of  the  First 
Squadron,  nor  LTC  Rowan,  the  Regimental  Fire  Support  Battalion  Commander,  nor  my 
staff  (who  were  also  listening  to  the  Regimental  Command  Radio  Net),  nor  I  knew  of 
triendlies  in  the  area.  This  was  not  localized  to  something  I  had  tailed  to  pass  on.  It  was 
something  that  neither  my  peers  nor  subordinates  understood  from  listening  to  the 
Regimental  radio  nets. 


Scr.-'.-:  ?*,-,flafl«nt  Sfifcawrwrthe 

W  l9Ws%':-,.y 
EXHIBIT  #    3^fe 


179 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


The  buffer  zone  discussion  makes  a  great  deal  of  sense  if  the  two  units  are 
side  by  side  or  if  the  1st  AD  is  in  front  of  the  3  ACR  because  it  would 
have  better  separated  the  two  units  and  lessened  the  chances  of  what 
happened  occurring.  However,  if  viewed  from  the  way  I  thought  we  were 
arrayed,  with  3  ACR  well  to  the  front,  it  does  not  make  sense.  It  seemed 
to  be  an  academic  discussion  without  relevance  to  our  situation  since  stray 
rounds  would  have  fallen  in  empty  desert  or  in  enemy  held  territory. 


Senate  P-snnmnt  ^  ****< 

Oft  IgaWBaflto 


rrt»<»r  p 


33.c_— 


180 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


The  key  point  to  remember  is  that  we  believed  that  the  Iraqis  had  the 
American-made  M-548  in  their  arsenal.  My  initial  statement  on  28 
February  1991  indicates  that  I  thought  the  Iraqis  had  obtained  the  M- 
548  through  the  foreign  military  sales  program  (FMS),  whereby  we  the 
United  States  sell  military  equipment  to  foreign  governments.  The 
GAO  report  at  page  41  corroborates  that  the  Regiment  had  intelligence 
reports  indicating  that  the  Iraqis  had  vehicles  which  looked  similar  to  the 
M-S48  in  their  inventory.  In  the  context  of  the  war  and  the  numerous 
missions  we  were  given,  the  M-548  did  not  seem  out  of  place. 
However,  I  have  consistently  stated  that  when  we  joined  I  Troop  we 
were  confronted  with  a  burning  building.  At  that  point,  we  did  not 
believe  there  was  a  vehicle  of  any  kind,  just  a  burning  building. 


Sewte  Permanent  Subcommittee 
w  in  augjrtwut 


181 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


Although  I  have  not  been  provided  with  all  the  testimony  gathered  by  either  the  GAO  or 
the  Army,  a  review  of  the  testimony  provided  by  the  Army  of  the  other  Troop 
Commanders'  and  of  my  staff  reveals  that  with  the  exception  of  CPT  Friesen  and  CPT 
Offen,  we  understood  the  mission.  The  orders  had  been  disseminated  to  the  Troop 
Commanders. 


Senate  Permanent  Subcommittee 
on  Investigations 

EXHIBIT  *    Sfije. 


182 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29.  1995 


For  the  record,  I  have  repeatedly  asked  for  this  information.  Written 
requestes  were  made  to  the  GAO: 

in  November  1994, 

on  February  3,  1995, 

on  June  5,  1995, 

on  June  15,  1995,  and 

on  June  26,  1995. 
Written  requests  were  also  made  of  Department  of  the  Array: 

on  June  6,  1995  and 

on  June  26,  1995. 
Additionally,  numerous  personal  and  telephonic  requests  were  made 
to  both  agencies.  And,  requests  were  made  to  this  Committee  for 
assistance  in  obtaining  the  needed  documents  from  the  GAO. 


3<T"f 


183 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29, 1995 


(Page  99  and  101  of  the  GAO  Report) 


&iw'<»  ?e/r)anant  Subcommittee 
an  investigations 


ew; 


?rr#    3^ a 


184 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


The  GAO  timeline  is  documented  at  page  31  of  their  report.  Although  it  purports  to  be 
very  specific,  it,  too,  is  only  an  estimate  because  it  is  based  on  the  tape  recording.  The 
transcript  of  that  recording  indicates  the  tape  recorder  was  turned  off  or  placed  on  pause 
for  several  indeterminate  periods  of  time  (GAO  report  page  94).  The  GAO  report  at  page 
94  also  indicates  that  the  tape  recording  was  edited. 


Sr^'-j  Ffmaneirt  SubcommittM 
jo  m»cc'jsuom 


f  iWBIT  # 


3?4__ 


185 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


A  "net"  is  short  for  a  network  of  people  using  radios  to  talk  to  one  another.  Captain 
Friesen  operated  or  ran  a  troop  network  which  consisted  of  his  subordinates.  And  he 
listened  to  a  squadron  net  which  consisted  of  my  subordinates. 


S«wt«  remanent  Subcommittee 
on  investigations 

EXHIBIT  g      39/ 


186 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29, 1995 


(Page  98  of  the  GAO  Report) 


on  fc--3tipti«tt 


187 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29.  1995 


Refer  to  GAO  Report  on  page  61  where  the  GAO  establishes  that  CPT  Friesen's  testimony 
that  the  warning  shots  were  fired  at  a  45  degree  angle,  was  inconsistent  with  the  testimony 
of  the  engineers  whom  he  fired  upon. 


M  ''IVSSUjItJoos 


188 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


Sir,  you  stated  that  I  moved  south  and  that  I  knew  of  the 
boundary.   We  moved  south  and  south  of  the  boundary  at  the  direction 
of  the  Regimental  Commander  who  sent  both  I  Troop  and  lateT  me  into 
the  fenced-in  area  to  determine  what  was  there.    I  obtained  his 
permission  to  fire  warning  shots  to  the  south.  I  viewed  this  as  a  new  task 
as  well  as  a  continuation  of  the  previous  mission. 

You  also  slated  that  I  knew  1st  AD  was  to  the  south.  I  knew  in 
general  terms  that  1st  AD  was  to  the  south.  We  did  not  know  their 
exact  location  but  did  not  suspect  that  they  were  in  this  immediate 
vicinity.  We  had  previously  been  told  to  attack  an  airfield  with  a 
battalion  of  dug  in  Iraqi  in  the  area.  My  Intelligence  Officer  repeatedly 
asked  the  Regiment  for  the  enemy  situation  and  repeatedly  was  told  that 
there  were  expected  enemy  in  the  area.  This  can  be  confirmed  by  his 
testimony  to  BG  Halley  as  well  as  by  Major  Martin's  testimony  to  both 
BG  Halley  and  the  GAO.  Both  LTC  Hardy,  Commander  of  1st 
Squadron,  and  LTC  Rowan,  Commander  of  Regiment's  support 
artillery  battalion,  confirm  in  their  testimony  that  we  did  not  know  of 
friendlies  in  the  area  and  also  expected  the  enemy  to  be  present 

You  also  stated  that  I  had  identified  an  .American  made  vehicle. 
The  presence  of  an  American  made  vehicle  is  being  cited  as  a  clear 
indication  that  there  were  Americans  not  Iraqis  in  the  area.   This  is 
WTong.  The  Iraqis  had,  to  our  knowledge  at  the  time,  US  equipment  in 
their  inventory.  The  GAO  report  states  the  Regiment  had  the 
intelligence  reports  that  there  were  American  made  vehicles  in  the  Iraqi 
inventory.  Whether  they  were  obtained  through  the  Foreign  Military 
Sales  program  or  through  second  party  sales  ,  our  intelligence  reports 
told  us  that  this  equipment  was  present.  The  presence  of  an  American 
made  vehicle  was  consistent  with  the  presence  of  Iraqi  troops.  And,  we 
did  not  identify  them  as  Americans  until  after  the  fatal  shots  were  fired 
per  the  testimony  to  Army  investigators  by  Sergeants  Ruch  and  Hunt. 

You  said  that  I  did  not  get  an  assessment  from  CPT  Friesen.  As 
stated  earlier,  I  asked  CPT  Friesen  for  situation  reports.  The  GAO  tape 
shows  on  page  98  of  the  GAO  report  that  I  had  asked  for  CPT 
Friesen's  "situation  reports"'  or  in  by  terms  "his  assessment."  This  was 
a  request  for  him  to  tell  me  what  was  going  on;  to  provide  his 
assessment.  Even  the  GAO  concludes  on  page  41  that  I  was  asking  for 
reports. 

You  stated  that  I  had  been  told  not  to  fire  until  we  confirmed  the 
enemy.   Whether  COL  Starr  told  me  twice  to  confirm  that  the 

combatants  to  our  front  were  enemy  or  not,. we  took  more  than  prudent  j^.?  'prmornr.;:  SiibiSHT.S: 
steps  to  confirm  their  status  and  to  allow  rhem  to  surrender.   Warning  on  Investigations 


ESfiS 


■r  * 


3_9L— - 


189 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  rNCFDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 

shots  were  fired  (although  the  GAO  concluded  at  pages  61-62  that  CPT 
Friesen  fired  at  the  vehicle),  time  was  allowed  to  elapse,  and  tapes 
asking  them  to  give  up  were  played.  This  is  far  more  than  was  normally 
being  done  elsewhere  in  either  XVIII  Corps  or  in  V"Q  Corps.  We  were 
not  there  as  policemen;  we  were  soldiers  at  war  in  an  area  that  we 
believed  had  a  dug  in  battalion  of  Iraqi  that  we  had  not  yet  seen.  One 
can  minimize  the  threat  of  one  or  two  dismounted  soldiers  on  the 
ground  until  that  soldier  uses  a  hand  held  missile  to  destroy  one  of  the 
our  vehicles.  Sergeant  Wolborski's  testimony  and  Major  Martin's 
clearly  show  that  we  believed  this  was  possible.  My  obligation  to  my 
soldiers  required  me  to  protect  them;  I  could  not  wait  to  act  against  what 
we  believed  were  hostile  enemy  soldiers  until  after  they  destroyed  our 
vehicles  or  killed  our  soldiers. 


190 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURrNGTHE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


Sir.  you  stated  that  CPT  Friesen  was  not  asked  for  an 
assessment  of  the  situation.  As  stated  earlier,  I  asked  CPT  Friesen  for 
situation  reports.  The  GAO  tape  shows  on  page  98  of  the  GAO  report 
that  I  had  asked  for  CPT  Friesen's  "situation  reports"  or  in  lay  terms 
"his  assessment."  And,  the  GAO  on  page  41  of  their  report  came  to  the 
same  conclusion.  This  was  a  request  for  him  to  tell  me  what  was  going 
on;  to  provide  his  assessment 

You  state  that  CPT  Friesen  did  not  know  we  were  coming.  On 
page  62  of  his  testimony  to  the  GAO,  CPT  Friesen  stated  that  he  knew 
we  were  coming  forward.  Although  he  later  contradicts  this  testimony, 
had  he  been  listening  to  the  Squadron  Command  net  he  would  have 
known  we  were  moving  forward  to  his  position.  Upon  receiving  the 
order  from  the  Regimental  Commander  to  go  down  to  I  Troop's 
location  inside  the  fence  as  the  Regimental  Commander  had  previously 
directed,  at  a  minimum  I  had  a  radio  conversation  with  my  S3  and  with 
the  other  elements  of  the  "command  group."  I  did  not  want  to  take  the 
entire  5  or  6  vehicles  with  me  as  I  expected  that  we  would  continue  the 
attack  to  the  east  as  soon  as  we  had  checked  out  this  fenced  in  area. 
On  the  Squadron  command  net,  I  told  them  to  stay  in  place  while  I 
went  south  and  I  received  an  acknowledgment  from  the  rest  of  the 
"command  group."  My  Fire  Support  Officer's  testimony  and  my 
Operations  Officer's  (S3's)  testimonies  confirm  this.  CPT  Friesen 
would  have  heard  this  series  of  conversations  on  the  squadron 
command  net.  As  explained,  he  was  required  to  be  listening  to  this  net 
This  was  on  the  radio  he  states  in  the  GAO  report  that  he  turned  off. 

CPT  Friesen  has  also  stated  that  he  almost  shot  me.  However, 
he  did  not  shoot  if  for  no  other  reason  than  he  was  able  to  correctly 
identify  my  two  M2  Bradley  Fighting  Vehicles.  He  would  have  also 
violated  the  cease  fire  I  imposed  on  my  subordinates  per  the  GAO 
report  tape  transcript. 

You  state  that  CPT  Friesen  almost  shot  the  two  men  who 
dismounted.  CPT  Friesen  did  not  fire  because  he  was  able  to  identify 
these  two  soldiers  as  American  from  the  equipment  they  were  wearing. 
This  is  something  that  the  various  testimonies  of  those  at  the  scene  say- 
was  not  possible  with  the  Engineers  because  they  were  not  all  wearing 
this  equipment  Although  the  reports  differ,  in  the  case  of  CPT 
Friesen  not  shooting  the  two  observers  from  my  vehicle  it  is  clear  that 
he  did  not  shoot  because  he  identified  them  as  Americans  coming  from 
my  vehicles. 

tXH18IT#      39nr> 


191 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


I  also  need  to  clarify  the  perception  that  I  just  wanted  to  "pump  a  few  rounds"  I 
understand  his  perception  but  he  was  not  in  a  position  to  observe  what  was  going  on  in  my 
turret  or  on  the  Squadron  Command  Radio  nets.  A  review  of  the  testimony  to  Army 
investigators  of  my  staff  and  others  in  better  positions  to  observe  me  paint  a  far  different 
and  more  accurate  picture  of  my  caution  and  hesitancy  to  fire. 


lo'r.rr 


39, 


192 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


There  seems  to  be  some  confusion  over  why  the  wearing  of  the  helmets  is 
critical.  It  is  because  of  the  distinctive  shape  of  the  U.  S.  helmet.  Its  shape 
would  have  been  easier  to  identify.  Note  the  two  shapes: 


U.  S.  Kevlar 
Helmet 


Iraqi 

Helmet 


Senate  Permanent  Suocommitte* 
en  tnvestigatuiK 


EXHIBIT  # 


^J&GL. 


193 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  1995 


CPT  Fricscn  in  his  statement  to  the  GAO,  which  was  reluctantly  provided 
to  me  the  night  before  this  hearing,  said  that  he  was  also  concerned  about 
the  dismounted  "enemy"  troops  having  anti-tank  weapons.  This  concern 
was  considered  valid  by  all  of  us  as  a  single  soldier  with  an  anti-tank 
weapon  at  close  range  could  destroy  one  of  our  vehicles  and  loll  several  of 
our  men  before  we  could  stop  him.  This  was  a  self-protection  issue  for  us. 


]f     


194 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
lune  19.  1995 


Although  CPT  Friesen  told  you  today  he  had  everything  under  control, 
his  sworn  statement  to  the  Army  Investigators  said  that  he  was  worried 
about  dismounted  enemy  troops  and  the  remainder  of  the  Iraqi  battalion 
that  was  supposed  to  be  in  the  area.  This  was  confirmed  by  SSG  Ruch. 
But,  after  the  warning  shots  were  fired  according  to  page  100  of  the 
GAO  Report,  Black  6  (CPT  Friesen)  says  "Blue,  pump  a  couple  of 
rounds  into  that  building.  There's  still  some  guys  in  there."  Even  after 
the  fatal  shots  were  fired,  CPT  Friesen  was  concerned  about  the  troops 
on  the  ground  as  enemy  and  directed  "Blue''  to  move  behind  the 
building  and  ugo  after  those  guys."  Page  105  of  the  GAO  Report 


Senate  Penman:),  Subcommittee 
m  'instigations 

EXHIBIT  #_,39g_ 


195 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29.  1995 


The  premise     that  it  was  under  control  is  incorrect.   We  had  what 
appeared  to  be  excessive  firing;  we  now  know  CPT  Friesen  turned  off  his 
radio  because  of  the  confusion;  we  can  see  from  the  G AO  Report  tape 
transcript  a  fair  amount  of  undisciplined  radio  chatter  in  CPT  Friesen' s 
Troop;  and  we  have  warning  shots  that  ignited  "the  building"  So,  from 
this  perspective,  it  does  not  appear  that  CPT  Friesen  had  everything  under 
control. 


^'<utt  /»eroiaiW 


a-<' 


icxommittee 


196 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29.  1995 


There  is  nothing  remarkable  about  the  presentation  dates  being  the  same 
Large  organizations,  both  civilian  and  military,  often  try  to  hold  awards 
ceremonies  at  one  time  to  recognize  the  deserving  in  front  of  their  peers 
and  associates.  This  ceremony  was  no  different  in  that  awards  were 
presented  to  numerous  people  for  a  variety  of  reasons.  The  significant 
dates  are  the  ones  on  the  award  certificates  and  orders  which  indicate 
whether  the  award  was  given  for  a  particular  day  and  event  or  for  a 
period  of  time.  In  fact,  people  familiar  with  the  awards  process  would 
recognize  that  CPT  Venezia's  award  was  presented  for  his  personal 
heroism  on  27  February.  This  is  in  contrast  to  my  award  which  was 
presented  for  a  period  of  service  from  October  1990  to  March  1991. 
Our  awards  certificates  reflected  this  distinction. 


**n  PenttNKM  iuKommrtt* 
on  'niesugations 


197 


THE  INVESTIGATION  OF  A  FRIENDLY  FIRE  INCIDENT  DURING  THE  PERSIAN  GULF  WAR 
June  29,  W5 


There  were  five  people  on  my  Bradley  Fighting  Vehicle: 
CPT  Vcnezia  (observer); 
SGT  Shumate  (observer), 
SGT  Nelson  (driver), 
SSG  Wolborski  (gunner), 
and  me  (vehicle  commander). 


an  lB«stJ|itww 
EXHIBIT  4  _3uX 


198 


GAO 


United  States 

General  Accounting  Office 

Washington,  D.C.     20548 


Office  of  Special  Investigations 


August  18,  1995 

The  Honorable  William  V.  Roth,  Jr. 
Chairman,  Permanent  Subcommittee 

on  Investigations 
Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs 
United  States  Senate 

Dear  Mr.  Chairman: 

During  the  June  29,  1995,  hearing  before  the  Subcommittee  concerning  events 
leading  to  a  Persian  Gulf  War  fratricide  incident  and  the  resulting  U.S.  Army 
investigations.  Senator  Fred  Thompson  requested  GAO  to  submit  for  the  record 
our  recommendation  as  to  how  these  kinds  of  investigations  sbould  be 
conducted  in  the  future.    However,  in  her  statement  to  the  Subcommittee  at  the 
hearing,  the  Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army  (Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs), 
Ms.  Sara  E.  Lister,  noted  that  the  regulation  governing  these  investigations. 
Army  Regulation  (AR)  15-6,  is  "currently  under  review"  and  that  "the  Army 
will  ensure  that  a  revised  AR  15-6  gives  Commanders  even  clearer  guidelines 
to  follow  in  such  investigations  to  ensure  the  problems  identified  in  this  case 
are  not  repeated." 

We  believe  it  would  be  appropriate  for  the  Army  to  complete  its  review  and 
revisions,  as  indicated  by  Assistant  Secretary  Lister,  before  we  evaluate  the 
matter.   Given  the  Subcommittee's  and  the  Army's  attention  to  this  situation, 
we  arc  hopeful  that  the  procedures  established  by  the  revised  AR  15-6  will 
ensure  that  future  investigations  arc  conducted  properly.   We  will  continue  to 
monitor  the  Army's  progress  and  will  coordinate  our  assessment  of  the 
revisions  with  your  staff  as  appropriate. 


Sincerely  yours. 


Richard  C.  Sticncr 
Director 


Senate  ' 

r»HIB!T  *         *fO 


).ii.T-;!tef 


199 


MW.VTO 

ATTOmOMOf 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

OFFICE  OF  THE  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY 

MANPOWER  AND  RESERVE  AFFAIRS 

111  ARMY  PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON  DC  20310-0111 

August  28,   1995 


Honorable  William  V.  Roth 

Chairman,  Senate  Permanent  Subcommittee 

on  Investigations 
United  States  Senate 
Washington,  DC  20510 

Dear  Mr.  Chairman: 

This  serves  as  a  follow  up  to  my  July  24, 1995,  letter  in  response  to 
questions  posed  by  the  Subcommittee  on  Investigations  as  result  of  the  Senate 
Hearing  into  the  friendly  fire  death  of  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder. 

The  Commanding  General,  Military  District  of  Washington, 
Major  General  F.  A.  Gorden,  issued  an  administrative  reprimand  to  LTC  Daly  on 
July  19,  1995,  for  providing  misleading  information  in  an  award  recommendation 
for  a  subordinate  involved  in  the  friendly  fire  incident  and  for  failing  to  exercise 
the  necessary  leadership  and  professional  Integrity  expected  of  senior  military 
officers  in  the  United  States  Army.  Major  General  Gorden  has  directed  filing  of 
the  memorandum  of  reprimand  in  LTC  Daly's  official  military  personnel  file. 

This  information  is  not  normally  made  available  to  the  public  under  the 
provisions  of  the  Freedom  of  Information  and  Privacy  Acts.  It  is  released  to  the 
Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs  pursuant  to  its  oversight  responsibilities. 
We  ask  that  it  not  be  further  released,  and  that  access  be  limited  to  those  with 
an  official  need  to  know. 

I  will  notify  you  of  final  actions  taken  to  resolve  any  other  outstanding 
issues  in  this  case  as  soon  they  are  completed. 

If  I  can  be  of  further  assistance,  please  let  me  know. 

Sincerely, 

Sara  E.  Lister 
Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army 
(Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs)         *"*fc 

*  nmwaton 


•WtM 


BOSTON  PUBLIC  LIBRARY 

200      llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 

3  9999  05984  352  2 


DEPARTMENT  OF  THE  ARMY 

OFFICE  OF  THE  ASSISTANT  SECRETARY 

MANPOWER  ANO  RESERVE  AFFAIRS 

111  ARMY  PENTAGON 

WASHINGTON  DC  20310-0111 


August  28,    1995 


Honorable  Fred  Thompson 
United  States  Senate 
Washington,  DC  20510 

Dear  Senator  Thompson: 

This  serves  as  a  follow  up  to  my  July  24,  1995,  letter  in  response  to 
questions  posed  by  the  Subcommittee  on  Investigations  as  result  of  the  Senate 
Hearing  into  the  friendly  fire  death  of  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder. 

The  Commanding  General,  Military  District  of  Washington, 
Major  General  F.  A.  Gorden,  issued  an  administrative  reprimand  to  LTC  Daly  on 
July  19,  1995,  for  providing  misleading  information  in  an  award  recommendation 
for  a  subordinate  involved  in  the  friendly  fire  incident  and  for  failing  to  exercise 
the  necessary  leadership  and  professional  Integrity  expected  of  senior  military 
officers  in  the  United  States  Army.  Major  General  Gorden  has  directed  filing  of 
the  memorandum  of  reprimand  in  LTC  Daly's  official  military  personnel  file. 

This  information  is  not  normally  made  available  to  the  public  under  the 
provisions  of  the  Freedom  of  Information  and  Privacy  Acts.  It  is  released  to  the 
Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs  pursuant  to  its  oversight  responsibilities. 
We  ask  that  it  not  be  further  released,  and  that  access  be  limited  to  those  with 
an  official  need  to  know. 

I  will  notify  you  of  final  actions  taken  to  resolve  any  other  outstanding 
issues  in  this  case  as  soon  they  are  completed. 

If  I  can  be  of  further  assistance,  please  let  me  know. 

Sincerely, 

Sara  E.  Lister 
Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Army 
(Manpower  and  Reserve  Affairs) 


201 


iaiah  1 1 "  ■ .  U' r>ninit«e« 

v  i"  •  '■'..►.ri'.r. 


Ii«WSSiE 


""-ESSE*0"  hw««  •       W3. 

United  States  Senate 


WASHINGTON.  DC  20510-4204 


September  20,  1995 


The  Honorable  Togo  D.  West,  Jr. 
Secretary- 
Department  of  the  Army 
The  Pentagon 
Washington,  D.C.    20310 

Dear  Secretary  West : 

I  am  writing  to  express  my  serious  concern  about  the  Army's 
handling  of  a  disciplinary  matter  related  to  the  friendly  fire 
death  of  Sergeant  D.  Lance  Fielder. 

On  Friday,  September  7,  I  received  a  letter  from  Assistant 
Secretary  of  the  Army  Sara  Lister  indicating  that  Major  General 
F.A.  Gorden  of  the  Military  District  of  Washington  had  issued  an 
administrative  reprimand  to  Lieutenant  Colonel  John  H.  Daly  for 
conduct  related  to  the  incident  and  its  aftermath.  A  copy  of 
that  letter  is  enclosed.   In  her  letter,  Secretary  Lister 
indicated  that  the  memorandum  of  reprimand  will  be  made  part  of 
Lt .  Col.  Daly's  official  military  personnel  file. 

As  I  am  sure  you  are  aware,  the  General  Accounting  Office 
and  the  Senate  Committee  on  Governmental  Affairs'  Permanent 
Subcommittee  on  Investigations  (the  "PSI  Subcommittee")  have  both 
conducted  exhaustive  investigations  of  the  circumstances 
surrounding  Sgt .  Fielder's  death  and  the  events  that  occurred 
afterwards.   Both  of  those  investigations  yielded  a  good  deal  of 
information  that  has  not  been  disputed  by  any  of  the  participants 
in  the  incident . 

Both  the  GAO  and  the  PSI  Subcommittee  found  that,  during  the 
incident,  Lt .  Col.  Daly  failed  to  exercise  proper  command  and 
control  over  his  troops.   Specifically,  the  facts  showed  that 
Daly  violated  a  cease  fire  and  the  stated  Rules  of  Engagement  in 
the  area  by  firing  upon  the  engineers  of  the  VII  Corps,  1st 
Armored  Division. 

After  the  incident,  Lt .  Col.  Daly  attempted  to  engage  in  a 
cover-up  by  asking  subordinates  to  maintain  silence  about  the 
facts  as  they  occurred  on  the  battlefield.   In  addition,  Daly 
provided  inaccurate  factual  material  to  superiors  to  support  the 
awarding  of  medals  for  actions  taken  during  the  friendly  fire 


202 


incident .   Finally,  at  the  Governmental  Affairs  Subcommittee 
hearing  on  June  29,  Daly  claimed  not  to  be  aware  that  his  own 
medal  was  awarded  at  least  in  part  for  actions  taken  during  the 
friendly  fire  incident. 

Taken  together,  the  investigative  record  provides  strong 
evidence  that  Lt .  Col.  Daly  at  the  very  least  acted  negligently 
during  the  incident  and  with  dishonesty  afterwards.   I  am  sure 
you  would  agree  that  such  conduct  is  not  suitable  for  an  officer 
in  the  United  States  Army.   Despite  this  evidence,  it  would 
appear  that  Major  General  Gorden  has  delivered  no  more  than  a 
slap  on  the  wrist. 

Given  the  importance  of  this  case  to  the  Fielder  family  and 
to  the  Army's  credibility  as  an  institution,  I  ask  that  you  take 
personal  responsibility  for  this  disciplinary  action. 
Specifically,  I  ask  that  you  provide  to  me,  in  writing,  the 
disciplinary  options,  as  set  out  in  Army  regulations,  that  were 
available  to  Gen.  Gorden,  and  the  reasons  why  the  option  selected 
is  in  your  view  the  appropriate  one.   In  addition,  I  ask  that  you 
provide  me  with  any  response  to  the  action  that  Lt.  Col.  Daly  may 
have  submitted  to  General  Gorden. 


At  the  PSI  Subcommittee's  June  29  hearing.  Secretary  Lister 
and  Army  Vice  Chief  of  Staff  General  Griffith  committed  on  the 
record  and  under  oath  to  provide  this  information  in  an  expedited 
fashion.   Therefore,  I  would  appreciate  your  prompt  attention  to 
my  request.   Thank  you. 


FDT :   cmcm 
Enclosure 


finff)^ 


„mp£ 

Sta/^s    Senftor 


cc:      Senator  William  V.    Roth,    Jr. 


o 


ISBN  0-16-052096-7 


9  780 


60"520969 


90000